Seattle city council president says state may have to raise taxes to fund schools

Dec 4, 2012

The president of the Seattle City Council says the state needs to make sure it adequately funds schools – and that may mean the state has to raise taxes. 

The state of Washington faces a grim budget deficit – more than $2.5 billion over the next two years, by one estimate. At the same time, the state also has to boost money for schools, according to a state supreme court decision.

The Seattle City Council is weighing in on what it thinks should be the state legislature’s top priorities. School funding is high on the list. Seattle City Council President Sally Clark says that may mean raising revenue, including the dreaded T word.

"We’re trying to be very clear about our willingness to look at all options, but for us all options probably has to include the idea that there might have be new taxes, new revenue, in order to adequately support education and not totally gut other programs," Clark said.

But Clark says she doesn’t support writing a blank check to the school system. She says Seattleites want to know the money is being spent wisely.

Raising taxes will probably not get much support from Governor-elect Jay Inslee. During the campaign, he pledged to veto tax hikes, though he left open the possibility of closing some tax loopholes.