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5 things you need to know this Thursday

Capital gains tax; George Floyd's cousin pushes police overhaul in state; State needs more vaccines; Seattle mulls car tabs for bridges; Amazon expands palm payments

Capital gains tax proposal passes Washington House, heads back to Senate

The Washington state House has approved a capital gains tax on the sale of high-profit stocks and bonds, but its future in the Senate is unclear following changes Democrats made in a House committee.

The measure would impose a 7% tax on the sale of stocks, bonds and other high-end assets in excess of $250,000 for both individuals and couples. Retirement accounts, homes, farms and forestry would be exempt.

The measure would take effect Jan. 1 and is expected to bring in about $450 million a year. Opponents have argued that it’s a tax on income that is illegal in the state, and the debate is certain to end up in court if it becomes law. Read more

George Floyd's cousin pushes Washington police accountability

Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict was welcome news for George Floyd’s cousin, Shayla Zartman, who lives in western Washington.

But the verdict this week, along with wide-ranging police overhaul legislation in Washington state, is just the beginning of building greater police accountability, said Zartman.

“The fight is absolutely not over. The fight will not be over until no one is killed by police officers for no reason," Zartman said. "Justice won’t be served until it stops happening, and that the people who do it are held accountable.” Read more

Washington COVID-19 vaccine clinics ready for more shots

State numbers show a quarter of Washingtonians are fully vaccinated against coronavirus, though health officials said a greater supply of the COVID-19 vaccine is needed.

“When those vaccines are offered to you, and you’re eligible, please don’t wait,” said Washington State Secretary of Health Dr. Umair Shah. “This is our way out of this horrific pandemic."

The state expects 370,000 doses of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine next week, which is on par with weeks past. But state health officials said they’re administering shots as fast as possible and are ready for more. Read more

Seattle mulls using city car-tab fees to fix bridges

Seattle City Council is floating an amendment to redistribute new vehicle license fees to help pay for ailing bridges.

Councilmember Alex Pedersen unveiled the full idea at a committee hearing on Wednesday, which appears to have a majority of council support.

Pedersen, and the Seattle Department of Transportation, said an audit of the city's bridges shows multiple spans in poor condition and require millions of deferred maintenance.

The council proposal would use the $20 vehicle license fee, approved last year, to finance $100 million in bonds. Pedersen, and his colleagues, said it will "supercharge" the maintenance efforts on bridges and make the money available in 2022. Read more

Amazon expands paying with the palm of your hand

Amazon is rolling out pay-by-palm technology at some Whole Foods grocery stores in Seattle. The company claims the new contactless payment method will be quicker and more convenient.

The technology, called Amazon One, lets shoppers scan the palm of their hand and connect it to a credit card or Amazon account. After the initial setup, which Amazon says takes less than a minute, shoppers can scan their hand at the register to pay for groceries without having to open their wallets.

Amazon One technology creates a "palm signature" for each user based on the most distinct identifiers of their palm, according to the company. The company said palm images are stored in a "highly secure area" built for Amazon One in the cloud created for each customer's palm signature. Read more

Also see: Seattle local forecast

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