Raising fees or taxes part of 180plus bills proposed in Washington Legislature

first_imgClick to enlarge The difference between a tax and a fee isn’t always clear in Olympia, but here’s how the Washington Policy Center, a Seattle-based conservative think tank, describes each:Tax: Applied uniformly in a taxing district, a tax raises revenue for general use or public benefit.Fee: Applied to someone receiving a specific service, a fee offsets the cost associated with running or regulating that service.188: Bills the Office of Financial Management notified the public about.82: Legislators who introduced bills to raise taxes or fees.$6.2 billion: 10-year revenue projections, had those bills passed.35: OFM-flagged bills that passed in the Legislature.At least $3 billion: 10-year revenue projections for those 35 bills.$33.6 billion: Size of the 2013-2015 budget.Despite many legislators’ public aversion to raising taxes and fees this year, Washington lawmakers proposed more than 180 bills to do just that, according to information kept by the state’s Office of Financial Management.About 7 percent of the 2,492 measures introduced in 2013 would have raised taxes or fees. Those proposals came from Democrats and Republicans alike, and from several legislators representing Clark County.Most of the bills in question impose fees on members of a particular industry, or other groups, such as vehicle owners or outdoors enthusiasts. Had all of the proposals passed, they would have raised at least $3 billion in new revenue in the next decade.This year, one of the largest tax or fee bills to pass was determined by OFM to raise at least $1 billion in the next 10 years. The measure, which was included in the operating budget, adds a tax on hospitals to pay for Medicaid hospital services. Medicaid is a health-care program for the poor.last_img