Issaquah legislator introduces measure to eliminate some Washington counties

January 26, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 4 p.m. Jan. 26, 2011

Under a proposal offered by state Rep. Glenn Anderson, state leaders could dissolve some Washington counties for taking in more in state dollars than the counties contribute through sales tax revenue.

The measure is unlikely to emerge from the House of Representatives, or even a committee. But the proposal has started a discussion about the harsh budget reality legislators face.

Democrats from populous Western Washington counties — Seattle Rep. Reuven Carlyle and Snohomish Rep. Hans Dunshee — joined Anderson to introduce the proposed constitutional amendment.

“Washington is facing an extraordinary budget crisis just like California,” he said in a statement released Wednesday. “We must take direct action to restore fiscal sanity.”

The state faces a $4.6 billion hole in the budget for 2011-13. Evergreen State residents could face increased fees and reduced services from state agencies and larger class sizes as a result of widespread cuts.

“Of the 39 counties, six contribute 75 percent of the state’s total tax revenues,” Anderson said. “King County alone contributes 40 percent to the state’s total tax revenues, but only receives only 25 percent in state program expenditures. That means King County residents, Republicans and Democrats alike, are paying double for state programs, subsidizing much of the rest of the state. This must change.”

The counties in line for the axe under the proposal include Adams, Asotin, Ferry, Stevens, Lincoln, Garfield, Yakima and Wahkiakum. In Olympia, Republicans represent all but Wahkiakum County.

“Republicans need to be seen as getting the state ahead of our problems, not just getting back to zero,” Anderson said.

The six-term Fall City Republican has represented Issaquah and other 5th Legislative District communities in East King County since 2001.

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2 Responses to “Issaquah legislator introduces measure to eliminate some Washington counties”

  1. Tweets that mention Issaquah legislator introduces measure to eliminate some Washington counties : The Issaquah Press – News, Sports, Classifieds in Issaquah, WA -- on January 26th, 2011 4:52 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Twit-Willow, The Issaquah Press. The Issaquah Press said: Should the state kill Wahkiakum County? Issaquah legislator proposes measure to dissolve poor counties. #waleg […]

  2. exoticdoc2 on January 26th, 2011 8:36 pm

    And, just like California, Washington’s problem is not tax problem, but a spending problem. Wasting our tax dollars must go first, and then we can talk about a tax CUT.

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