Wash. House approves tax changes to raise money

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OLYMPIA (AP) — Lawmakers in the state House have approved tax changes that they want to use to balance the state budget.

The House voted on Tuesday night to approve changes to the estate tax and phone taxes responding to court rulings that threatened to limit the state’s ability to collect money in both areas. Representatives also voted to extend a fee on hospitals.

Combined, the changes may bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue in the next budget cycle. The House is separately looking to extend some taxes and end some tax breaks to help balance the budget.

Democrats say some of the changes are a matter of fairness and needed to help add money to education. Some Republicans expressed concern that the estate tax change would unfairly hit people retroactively.