Smith on Politics: Rep. Ryu Expects Legislature to Send Tax Referendum to Ballot

Eliminating tax exemptions not enough to close budget gap, raising sales tax needed

Democratic State Rep. Cindy Ryu says that she expects the Legislature to put a sales-tax measure on the November ballot to pay for schools and other things that the Legislature may cut to close the State budget gap. 

Ryu said Wednesday that she expects the Legislature to propose something like Gov. Christine Gregoire's proposed three-year half-cent-per-dollar increase in the state sales tax.

She also said that she would like to pursue the elimination of tax exemptions that may have outlived their value, but she said that revenue from cutting the tax breaks would be “small potatoes” compared to the State budget gap.

Ryu said that she would prefer that the Legislature pass the removal of tax breaks but that the voter-approved requirement of a two-thirds vote makes that difficult. She said that she is awaiting the decision of a King County Superior Court on whether the two-thirds requirement is constitutional. The Court will hear arguments in the case in early February.

32nd District Dem leader says she’s not concerned about redistricting

Democratic 32nd Legislative District Chairwoman Carin Chase says that the organization will do well despite losing Lake Forest Park and Kenmore, and gaining Lynnwood and Northwest Seattle.

The District will continue to include Shoreline, Woodway, south Edmonds and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County. 

Chase called the change part of the normal evolution of the organization.

She said that the organization regrets losing hard-working members to other districts “where we know they will be warmly received and will continue their deep involvement in political life.”

Chase said that the 32nd Legislative District Democrats have had contacts in the past with Democrats from Lynnwood and north Seattle and, “We are eager to add their skills and leadership to the mix.”

Former legislator dislikes splitting Shoreline, LFP into separate districts

Former Democratic State Rep. Nancy Rust says that redistricting Shoreline and Lake Forest Park into separate legislative districts is a mistake because the two cities share a community of interest through the Shoreline School District, the Shoreline/Lake Forest Park Senior Center and the Shoreline/Lake Forest Park Arts/Council.

Shoreline will remain in the 32nd District, and Lake Forest Park will move from the 32nd to the 46th legislative district. 

Meanwhile, a Lynnwood Republican precinct committee officer, Doug Kerley, says that splitting both the 1st and 32nd Legislative districts between King and Snohomish counties weakens the influence of Democratic and Republican legislative district organizations in county party organizations.

Evan Smith has covered local issues for more than two decades. His politics column appears on Patch at least weekly. Contact him atschsmithschsmith@frontier.com.



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