The candidates for Washington governor sparred Thursday night over a proposal to raise the state property tax and simultaneously lower local school levies. Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna faced off at a TV studio in Seattle. It was their fourth formal debate.
Inslee repeated his attack on McKenna for supporting the so-called “levy swap.”
“It will not raise a dime to put net dollars into our schools. Now, I think you might call that a gimmick, you might call that a shell game, but whatever it is it is not a solution to our problem.”
McKenna countered,” “Congressman Inslee’s obviously convinced himself it’s a gimmick, but no one else agrees with him. None of the people who’ve actually been working on the issue: Democrats, Republicans, education advocates.”
The concept has had bipartisan support in Olympia. It’s also true that it is revenue neutral –- meaning it doesn’t generate new dollars for schools.
The levy swap is designed to shift more of the burden of funding public schools back to the state and away from local districts. The candidates will debate one last time on October 16.
On the Web:
Fourth Washington gubernatorial debate (KING5.com)
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