Update from Olympia – week 4

Majority Democrats in the legislature aren’t listening to voters

We have yet to hit the halfway point of the 60-day legislative session for 2020 and already, the Democratic majority in the Senate have approved additional taxes that are completely unnecessary.

Do you remember seeing 12 advisory votes on your November ballot, which asked you whether taxes adopted by the Democrats during the 2019 session should remain or be repealed? Overwhelmingly, voters in the 7th Legislative District and statewide disagreed that these new taxes are not necessary.  Well… hold on to your wallet, we’re getting ready for round two this year. I want to share with you some of the unnecessary and troublesome pieces of legislation that have come across my desk this session.

B&O tax increase (SB 6492) – One of the majority led tax hikes of 2019 – done in less than 72 hours in the final days of the legislative session — increased the business-and-occupation tax on providers of professional services (veterinarians, accountants and many others) by 20 percent. Less than one year later, the state’s own Department of Revenue determined the structure of the original tax bill made it unworkable for them to implement.

SB 6492 is being sold as a reduced replacement tax but is really a tax hike that collects $1billion in taxes compared to $773 million in last year’s version. The kicker is the largest employers made a deal that allows them to pay a lower rate while 4,000 smaller businesses that weren’t roped in last year will see new tax increases under this legislation. Who are some of these businesses… mental health providers, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, cancer care entities, chemical and substance abuse providers and health care providers in rural underserved areas of our state. And how is this supposed to increase access to healthcare?

Washington has seen tremendous growth with billions more in unexpected revenue. State government has more than enough to operate, and our businesses, families and consumers don’t need a larger tax burden, but every single one of the Senate Democrats said yes to SB 6492. House Democrats also quickly passed this – a sign that they’re not listening to the people either.

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