Governor Gregoire proposes cuts & tax hikes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Governor Gregoire proposes cuts & tax hikes

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Governor Chris Gregoire proposed a combination of cuts to state services and a sales tax increase to battle the state's budget.

Under the governor's plan, nearly $2 billion dollars would be slashed from education, public safety, and social programs for the disabled.

Gregoire's plan would also temporarily increase the state's sales tax by half a cent. The increase would bring in nearly $500 million dollars. 

Voters are divided on paying higher taxes, "I would have no problem with a tax increase, if I felt funds were being used effectively," explains DeDe Hartelius.

Others like Jim Cummins support the governor's action,  "I think we live in a time that if we don't raise taxes, so many of the programs are going to have to be sacrificed."

State representatives Larry Haler and Brad Klippert say they oppose tax increases.

The governor suggests the tax proposal get a statewide vote in march. The legislature would have to approve the vote by December 30th for a March 13th vote.