20th District Reps release statement on tax increases approved by House Democrats

Nearing the end of the 30-day special session called by Gov. Gregoire, Democrats in the House tonight approved nearly $1.7 billion in new and increased taxes for the 2011-13 biennium, over $794 million in the first year alone.

House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, and Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia and ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, released the following statements:

Rep. Richard DeBolt:

“It is unbelievable that the majority party has wasted $200,000 on a special session to raise taxes on people who don't have jobs, so they can give pay raises to people that do. It is obvious there is a disconnect between the Democratic majority in Olympia and the hardworking citizens of Washington when they choose to raise nearly $800 million in taxes on folks who are already struggling financially.

“It has become clear that instead of indentifying the priorities of government, government has become the priority.”

 

Rep. Gary Alexander

“Families and employers continue to make sacrifices, yet 'business as usual' continues in state government.  These tax increases are not going to help our economy or help get folks back to work.  Unemployment in our area is already around 15 percent.  The actions taken by majority House Democrats today will only make things worse.

“We have to remember how we got here.  Yes, the national recession has hit every state hard, but just a few years ago, Washington had a budget surplus of over $2 billion.  Unsustainable budgeting practices and unrealistic expansions in state services have led the majority party to place the burden on taxpayers rather than face the facts and bring government spending back in line with government revenues.

“Without reforms, without addressing the very increases in spending that got us to this point, I'm afraid we're going to be right back in this same position a year from now – facing a multi-billion dollar shortfall.”

New and increased taxes approved by House Democrats amount to nearly $1.7 billion for the 2011-13 budget cycle ($794 million in just the first year alone) – the largest tax increase in state history. They include:

  • A 0.30% increase in the B&O tax on all services except hospitals and scientific R&D = $242 million;
  • DOT foods = $155 million;
  • Cigarette($1 per pack) and other tobacco products = $101 million;
  • B&O tax on economic income (Nexus) = $84.7 million;
  • 50-cent per gallon (28-cents per six pack) beer tax = $59 million;
  • Sales tax on bottled water = $32.6 million;
  • Sales tax on candy/gum = $30.5 million;
  • 2-cent per 12-ounce soda tax = $33.5 million;
  • Taxes on business structure transactions = $8.5 million;
  • B&O tax increase on property management salaries = $6.9 million;
  • B&O increase on certain canned meat products = $4.1 million;
  • B&O tax increase on mortgages = $3.6 million;
  • B&O tax increase on corporate officer salaries = $2.1 million;
  • Tax increase on bad debts = $1.7 million;
  • Tax increase on livestock nutrient management = $1.3 million;
  • Tax increase on PUD electric bills = $1.2 million;
  • Personal liability for tax debts = $1.1 million.

 

The 2010 regular legislative session ended March 11. Gov. Gregoire called the Legislature into a special legislative session so majority Democrats could finalize their operating budget and tax increase proposals. The 30-day special legislative session is scheduled to end on Tuesday, April 13.

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For more information, contact: Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer, (360) 786-7698.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov