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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The House Democrats released their budget proposal and corresponding tax increase proposals today. In total, they propose to spend $38.9 billion on the 2015-17 budget, and increase taxes by $1.5 billion. As I've said before, the state is expecting to see an additional $3 billion in this budget within the current revenues, so there is no need for these new and increased taxes on our economy.
The tax increases include:
- a new capital gains (income) tax;
- repealing seven tax exemptions including the one on bottled water that voters held up a couple years ago;
- increasing the B&O tax rate on service businesses.
While they label the capital gains tax as one “on the rich,” do you trust the government to not scale this new tax to hit the middle class when the appetite for more spending grows once again? I don't.
Of note is Democrats did not include Gov. Inslee's proposed cap and trade scheme that would increase your cost of gas and heating. I think they see how little support there is for such a tax.
A public hearing on this budget will be held Monday at 1:30 p.m. If you can't make the drive to Olympia, I encourage you to contact members of the House Appropriations Committee and share your thoughts. It's important they hear not only from special interests, but average citizens and taxpayers, too.
Another major proposal moving forward is the gas-tax proposal passed in the Senate. The House Transportation Committee held a public hearing on Thursday and could vote to move the proposal from committee to the Rules Committee to be scheduled for a vote by the full House. If you feel strongly about this transportation proposal, contact members of the House Transportation Committee here. While I don't support the gas tax proposal, if people don't speak out, there may be enough support in the House to move it forward.
People sometimes ask me if their voice really matters in Olympia. Absolutely! A constant, repetitive voice from the people has reversed many bad bills and pushed forward many good bills. I'm working hard to represent you and hold the line on tax increases, but your input matters and needs to be heard loud and clear in Olympia.
As always, please feel free to contact my office. It's an honor to serve you in our state capital.
405 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7962 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000