Sales tax deductions made permanent for WA residents. Plus: income tax talk, shrinking benefits, unemployment, k-12 education, and the estate tax

April 3, 2009 | Alex Stone

U.S. Senate makes sales tax deduction permanent for Washington residents: The U.S. Senate fulfilled a dream for taxpayers in several states without income taxes, including Washington, by making permanent the sales tax deductions on their federal income tax. | Tacoma News Tribune

Obstacles challenge proposals to create an income-tax on the wealthy: Washington state Senate Democrats are toying with putting an income tax on the ballot, knowing it likely would end up in the state Supreme Court if voters approved the measure. | Seattle Times

Key lawmakers considering state income tax on wealthy: For years in Washington’s capital of Olympia, state income tax proposals have been viewed much like those periodic bills to declare Eastern Washington a 51st state. They’re attention-getters aimed at spurring a discussion. No one expects them to actually pass. This year is different. | Spokesman Review

U.S. Jobless rate bolts to 8.5 percent, 663K jobs lost: The nation’s unemployment rate jumped to 8.5 percent in March, the highest since late 1983, as a wide swath of employers eliminated 663,000 jobs. It’s fresh evidence of the toll the recession has inflicted on America’s workers, and economists say there’s no relief in sight. | Seattle Times

Editorial: Protecting all of education: The Washington state House released a budget that treats K-12 education better than the state Senate’s version. Blows from the budget ax may be cushioned by an expected $700 million in federal stimulus money sent directly to school districts. | Seattle Times

Editorial: Slimmed down, the state must put education first: The Washington state Senate released its budget Monday and cuts to public schools and higher education are troubling. The stage is set for some kind of a revenue package in November. We say cut more state employees and put education first. | Seattle Times

Editorial: The Forgotten Rich: The U.S. Senate budget debate began this week against a backdrop of war and recession, rising unemployment and surging foreclosures, runaway health care costs and diminishing insurance coverage — to name just a few of the nation’s big problems. But for Senator Blanche Lincoln, Democrat of Arkansas, and Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, the most pressing issue is clear: America’s wealthiest families need help. Now. | New York Times

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Posted in Early Learning, Education, Retirement Security, State Economy, Tax and Budget, Work & Family

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