Operating and transportation and capital, oh my!

Senate Republicans unveiled their two-year operating budget this week and their key selling point reverberated throughout the state: no new taxes.

“It’s a no new taxes budget,” several Republican lawmakers said.

Headlines followed suit, “State GOP unveils ‘no new taxes’ budget.”

But wait, one astute reader pointed out: Aren’t Senate Republicans pushing a gas tax this legislative session?

Well, yes …

It’s budget crunch time in Olympia and probably a worthwhile reminder that the two-year operating budget is different from the proposed transportation and capital budgets.

The proposed 11.7 cents incremental gas tax is in the Senate’s $15 billion proposed transportation package.

Here’s another noteworthy nuance, when Republicans say no “new” taxes, that doesn’t mean they won’t increase existing taxes.

The Senate Republican’s two-year operating budget proposal allows several tax exemptions to expire, which is in effect raising taxes.

Here’s a recap of where lawmakers are at with each budget: the House, which is controlled by the Democrats, passed their budget this week.

Highlights from the House Democrat’s budget include sending $3.2 billion to K-12 education and $1.4 billion to help satisfy the McCleary requirements. It’s a $38.8 billion two-year budget.

It includes a 5 percent capital gains tax, allows for several tax exemptions to expire and has a slight increase in the business and occupation taxes.

Despite pulling an all-nighter, the Senate, controlled by the Republicans, did not pass their budget this week. They are expected to debate the budget again on Monday.

Their proposal includes sending $2.7 billion to K-12, $1.3 billion to satisfy McCleary requirements and cutting tuition at universities. To pay for their $38 billion two-year budget, they would allow for 15 tax exemptions to expire, rely on marijuana and other existing revenue and dip into other accounts.

The House has not yet unveiled a transportation package. The Senate has already pass a transportation package.

Only the House has passed a capital budget, which addresses construction needs for state buildings, schools and other government buildings and spaces

Lawmakers have until April 26 until they are scheduled to adjourn.

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

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