State can't afford loss of candy and water tax

Eliminating the tax, as Initiative 1107, digs an even deeper budget hole for Washington.

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We winced when the Legislature imposed a sales tax on candy, bottled water and some processed foods as a way to plug a hole in the leaking state budget.

It was our hope lawmakers could reduce enough spending to balance the budget without any tax increases.

But worse-than-expected state revenue forecasts over the last few months have made it clear more cuts or more taxes will be needed to balance the budget.

Given that, we urge voters to vote no on Initiative 1107, which does away with the new taxes on candy, bottled water and the processed food items. The state simply can't afford to lose the estimated $300 million this tax will bring in over the next three years.

Months ago, before lawmakers made some deep cuts to the budget, we would have urged lawmakers to take another look at the budget and trim.

Now, even with the candy-water tax in place, lawmakers are going to have to make cuts that will have real impacts. For example, jobs are going to be lost at the Washington State Penitentiary.

Eliminating the candy-water tax will make it necessary to cut even more jobs at the prison and elsewhere.

Washington state is currently in a dire financial situation. The voters should not make this bad situation even worse.

We urge voters to vote no on Initiative 1107.

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