On Ep. 68 of The Overcast, state Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, defends the Legislature's use of property taxes to boost funding for public schools - and responds to last week's podcast guest, state Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, who called the tax plan "punitive."

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Taxpayers in King County and elsewhere are about to receive eye-popping property tax bills this month, as the state Legislature’s plan to fully fund public schools is implemented. Taxes will rise by between 9 and 31 percent on the median home this year, depending on where you live.

Naturally, some local politicians are pointing fingers. Last week, state Sen. Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) joined The Overcast – The Seattle Times’ weekly politics and news podcast – to argue the “punitive” tax increases are the fault of Republicans who pushed a plan that taxes Seattle and other wealthy areas to fund schools in poorer districts.

This week, one of the Republican architects of the tax plan, state Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia is our guest – and offers a rebuttal to what he called Carlyle’s hyperbole.

Braun argues the property tax plan, which in the end passed with bipartisan support, was the most realistic option available for lawmakers facing a state Supreme Court mandate to reverse decades of state under-funding of public schools. He says a majority of Washington taxpayers, including in King County, will see a reduction in taxes as the tax-plan is fully phased in 2019 and beyond.

So check out Braun’s segment, and then re-listen to Carlyle’s as you open your property tax bills, due to be sent out as early as Feb. 14.

This episode was recorded at the Seattle studios of public radio 88.5 FM KNKX, as part of an ongoing partnership. Be sure and support the independent journalism that makes this podcast possible by subscribing at seattletimes.com/support.

Happy Valentine’s Tax Day!

Love, The Overcast.

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