Wash. State Retailers Deliver Signatures to Capital

C-store owners, employees protest proposed cigarette tax, more

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Owners and employees of 7-Eleven convenience stores around Washington state have delivered 23,000 signatures to lawmakers in the capital, Olympia, reported KPLU Radio. They are protesting plans by the governor and state Senate Democrats to increase the tax on cigarettes by $1.

Democrats in the state Senate say their cigarette tax increase will bring in nearly $86 million dollars in the next two years. That would help avoid cuts for the Basic Health Plan for low-income workers, said the report.

Franchisee Prit Singh owns five 7-Eleven stores in the [image-nocss] Seattle area. "It really hurts everybody you know, not only me, but my customers too, and my employees too," he told the National Public Radio affiliate. "Everybody."

House Democrats have yet to unveil their tax proposal; however, Republican leaders in the House and Senate are united in their opposition to the cigarette tax, according to the report.

Governor Christine Gregoire's budget proposals also include soda and candy taxes.