Washington Tax Under Fire

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Washington Tax Under Fire

02/01/2002

SEATTLE -- Opponents of the new increase in Washington's tobacco tax will challenge the voter-approved law in court.

Initiative 773 increased the tax on a pack of cigarettes 60 cents to $1.425, the highest in the nation. The initiative also earmarked the money to expand state-paid health care for the poor, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Critics of the new tax -- who include convenience-store operators -- say it violates the Washington Constitution's single-subject rule, which confines initiatives to one idea. Backers of I-773 say it was written so as to avoid constitutional problems.