Bottled water tax may end up in Inslee’s budget

Bottled water tax may end up in Inslee’s budget

An idea reborn in Olympia could have you paying extra for a bottle of water.

A task force assembled by Governor Jay Inslee was asked to find ways to fund the state’s parks and the outdoor recreation industry and, in the final report, the group suggested bringing back a tax on bottled water as well as an excise tax on motorhomes and travel trailers.

The bottled water tax was put in place by the legislature in 2010 but it was quickly repealed that year by voters.

Democrat State Representative Marcus Riccelli says funding in the state needs to be looked at as a whole and the tax on bottle water is part of a much broader picture.

“I think we need to fund our parks,” Riccelli said. “The discover pass is not cutting it, we need to discover another a new way to make our parks whole.”

The two tax ideas would generate an estimated $100 million over the next two years.

Republican State Representative Jeff Holy says legislators should listen to what the voters have already said.

“When people see value in taxes they will tend to impose them on themselves, but that’s their choice,” Holy said. “I don’t choose to do it to them.”

The idea has mixed reaction, many in Spokane not in favor of the idea.

“Something like that, that somebody needs for survival, I don’t think is acceptable,” Kruise Rork said.

“I think that it’s wrong because money is not that easy to get now,” Emma Peters said.

The ideas are just recommendations to the governor, but they could become part of his budget proposal in December.