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Head of Washington state Senate Dems seeks capital gains tax

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Politics,News,Business

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The leader of the Senate Democrats in Washington state proposed a capital gains tax Friday to help add hundreds of millions of dollars to education.

Sen. Ed Murray, of Seattle, said he'd like to see voters approve the tax along with a package of reforms supported by a Republican-leaning coalition in the Senate. Murray said both sides need to come together on a larger compromise.

Murray's proposal adds a 5 percent tax on capital gains, but it would exempt the first $10,000 in gains for individuals. Murray projected that a small fraction of voters would be impacted by the tax.

As the state prepares to set up the system, Murray would temporarily extend a business tax paid by doctors, lawyers and others, and a beer tax until the end of 2015.

"It will take some time to get this up and running," Murray said.

The proposal also has a difficult path to get out of the Senate, or even a committee hearing.

Now that Murray and Democrats are in the minority, he will need to persuade a Republican-dominated coalition to join the effort. Republican lawmakers have said the state needs to focus on having government live with the revenue it already has.

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