Democratic state revenue plan gets first public hearing

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A bill by Democratic leaders of the Washington House of Representatives to fund the state budget with a new capital gains tax and other revenue measures has received its first public hearing.

In a crowded meeting of the House Finance committee Tuesday morning, lobbyists for business groups and users of Washington's schools and social services voiced their thoughts on the plan Democrats debuted last week. It would create Washington's first tax on capital gains, which 41 other states already charge. In addition, the plan would end a series of exemptions to the state's business and operations tax, and increase the number of transactions in which sales tax is charged.

The plan is projected to bring in $1.5 billion in new revenue in the 2015-17 budget cycle to help fund a total $38.8 billion spending plan Democrats have proposed.