Saturday, May 14, 2011

Gregoire: it's a tax in 2004, but not a tax in 2011

Basic dishonesty in Washington government. State Lt Governor Brad Owens had to rule whether the fee/tax on nursing home beds was a tax or a fee. How convenient! He ruled it is a fee, not a tax.

But he ruled wrongly and knows it. During the 2004 race for governor Dino Rossi claimed he proposed a bed fee. Christine Gregoire pushed back - that it was a tax.

It was a tax in 2004 and it is in 2011. Lt. Governor Owens violated the law. Initiative 960 requires that all tax increases be approved by a 2/3 vote or a vote of the people. By ruling it is a fee he violated I-960.

Wash State Wire

... For political reasons, Dino Rossi found himself writing the budget back in 2003, and he was a big supporter of the nursing home bed tax. But of course he called it a fee when he ran for governor the next year and said he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Gregoire called him on it, highlighted it in her ads and in debates. The Seattle Times even ran a ‘fact check’ piece, Ericksen said, in which it said the nursing home assessment was definitely a tax.

   “[The] then-attorney general, now governor of the state of Washington, Chris Gregoire said no, that’s a tax – you’re not being honest, Mr. Rossi, you raised taxes. I could read page after page from the Seattle Times, 2003 and 2004, about the debate between Sen. Rossi and now-Gov. Gregoire about how was this a tax.

“Is this a tax? Clearly it was called a tax. I mean I could read it right here, ‘Fact Check – The Seattle Times.’ It says clearly [despite] Rossi’s claim that as chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee he did not raise taxes, the fact, as was brought out during that campaign, was that he did raise taxes because he enacted the bed tax in 2003.”

   Ericksen said he voted for the nursing home assessment in 2003 but changed his mind this time because he thought money would be diverted again.

   Meanwhile, it appeared the ruling of the Seattle Times was not binding on the Legislature.

No comments: