DeBolt fights to preserve the Taxpayer Protection Act
The week-long fight by House Republicans to prevent tax increases in the 2010 legislative session culminated Wednesday night with a vote to the repeal of the Taxpayer Protection Act (I-960). With support only from majority Democrats, Senate Bill 6130 passed the House by a vote of 51 to 47. The bill would repeal the voter-approved measure that requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature or a vote of the citizens to raise taxes. Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, said House Republicans will continue to hold to their position that the Legislature should balance the state budget without tax increases.
“Families are struggling to make ends meet and employers who provide the jobs we need to pull us out of this recession are trying to keep their doors open. Now is not the time to increase their tax burden,” said DeBolt. “The most disappointing thing about this legislation is that it silences the voice of the people when they need it most.”
Senate Bill 6130 allows taxes to be raised with a simple majority vote of the Legislature instead of the two-thirds majority required by voters when they passed The Taxpayer Protection Act in 2007. The bill also repeals provisions allowing citizens to vote on tax increases.
DeBolt said there is no secret about why majority Democrats moved this bill through the Legislature. There are currently 77 bills in the state House of Representatives that, when combined, would increase taxes and fees by $11.46 billion in the state’s next two-year budget cycle.
Today Gov. Gregoire unveiled her tax package which would raise $605 million in the next year by tripling the tax on gas and other petroleum products and increasing taxes on candy, bottled water, soda and cigarettes.
“We have not had a discussion about the priorities of government expenditures. Instead the Legislature and the governor are piling more taxes on to the already burdened citizens of this state,” said DeBolt.
“We need to keep people working and help those who are unemployed get back to work. Tonight’s vote distinguishes the distinct difference priorities in Olympia. Members of the House Republican caucus believe we can provide a quality education for our children and safe communities if we have a strong economy to pay for the first two. Our colleagues in the majority party have made increasing taxes through eliminating the Voter Protection Act their number one priority.”
SB 6130 now goes back to the Senate for final approval before going to the governor for her signature.
Contact: Lisa Fenton, Communications Director: (360) 786-7728
###Washington State House Republican Communications