Tim Hamilton / Flickr

Advocates for the homeless in Kitsap County say there’s not enough money to provide services – so they’re talking about the possibility of a new tax. 

United Way of King County

Tax day is later than usual this year. The deadline to file federal returns is Monday, April 18th.

The IRS didn't extend the cutoff just to give procrastinators more time. It did so to allow its employees to observe Emancipation Day, a holiday in Washington, D.C. to honor when Abraham Lincoln signed a law that ended slavery in the District.

A lot of taxpayer still dread filing their returns, even with a few extra days. That’s not the case for one local teenager. She’s the youngest person out of 650 people to volunteer with United Way of King County to help people prepare their taxes. 

Washington House Democrats are considering a plan to lease the state's liquor distribution system for $300 million cash up front. But it wouldn't come cheap.

Initially, the deal could cost the state 80 percent of what it currently collects from the wholesale distribution of booze. That's according to a memo marked "highly confidential." It comes from a newly formed company called Washington Beverage and outlines a proposal to take over from the state the distribution of hard liquor throughout Washington.

Seattle Office for Education

As schools and family service providers across the state struggle with budget cuts, taxpayers are being asked to help out more. In Seattle, the city council is gearing up to put the Families and Education Levy back on the ballot. Voters have renewed it every time it’s come up since former Mayor Norm Rice created it in 1990, but some people might not realize how much it’s changed. 

The federal government mishandled the cleanup of the dangerous Hanford K-Basins near the Columbia River. The mistakes cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Those are some of the conclusions of a federal Inspector General report.

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Business Unemployment Tax Breaks on Horizon
  • Seattle Considers Garbage Collection Reductions
  • UW Accused in Animal Welfare Complaint



State House OK's Business Tax Cuts, Benefit Boost for Unemployed

Washington businesses will get a break on unemployment taxes in a deal unanimously approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday. 

Alan Cleaver (alancleaver_2000) /

Washington businesses with overdue taxes can now pay them off without penalties and interest. It's the state Department of Revenue's first-ever tax amnesty. Delinquent taxpayers have until April 18th to apply for the temporary program and must pay their taxes by April 30th. Full details, including the application form, are available at

Legislators on both sides of the aisle are rejecting Governor Gregoire's proposal to fix the state ferry system's chronic deficit by making it into an independent taxing district. 

At a House Transportation Committee hearing yesterday, lawmakers nixed the idea, saying they don't think it has the votes to pass.  And as John Stang of the Kitsap Sun reports, the Chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Committee says she won't even give the proposal a hearing

Photo courtesy / WA DOC

When the state of Washington gets sued, it’s the multi-million dollar payouts that make the headlines.

However, every year taxpayers are on the hook for thousands of dollars more in smaller property damage claims: Inmate TV sets, drowned cell phones, rock-chipped windows … even a cheesecake.

In the new year, Washington state is raising taxes. But you'll need sharp eyes to notice where.  Lawmakers have hiked and expanded a telephone tax to support 911 service.

Washington's Employment Security Department is sending out 2011's tax-rate notices this week to more than 170,000 businesses.

The agency says next year's average rate will increase by nearly a full percentage point.  Most employers' rates are going up for the second year in a row.  It's the highest average rate in more than two decades. 

Ted Warren / AP Photo

Washington’s sales tax on candy, soda and bottled water goes away today. Some candy and chocolate stores are bracing for a surge in business from corporate gift purchases that have been delayed until now to avoid the tax.

AP photo.

A self-described 'poor man' from Spokane tells us he wouldn't think of voting for I-1098, the income tax measure, because "the rich are blessed."  KPLU's Paula Wissel asks "Who's rich and who's not?" in our latest report on Election 2010.  The initiative aims to tax the wealthiest 1.2% in the state. That's a quantifiable definition of 'rich.'  But the conversation also invites a qualitative definition to a perhaps undefinable question.

You gotta do your homework.  That's  the advice KPLU's Keith Seinfeld got from tax experts on how voter's might want to approach their November ballots.  Your vote will help establish major tax policies in Washington for years to come.  They offer some helpful tools.  Too much to think about? Keith gives us a little help from Monty Python and the Romans.