Democrats vote $4.5 billion in new tax increases out of House Finance Committee

Rep. Ed Orcutt, ranking Republican on the committee: “The Democrats do not need to raise taxes on anyone.”

Key facts:

In the House Finance Committee today, Democrats voted out House Bills 2156, 2157 and 2158. The bills, collectively, would:

Statement from Rep. Ed Orcutt, ranking Republican on the House Finance Committee:

“The governor and Democrats began signaling late last year that they wanted to raise taxes to expand state spending beyond normal state tax collections. The questions since then have been: Which taxes would they raise and by how much? After considering several different proposals this legislative session, House Democrats today passed three bills that would increase taxes by more than four billion dollars over the next four years – including a new capital gains income tax.”

“The Democrats do not need to raise taxes on anyone. The Legislature has more than enough money to pay for the state's priorities. Republicans are united on this issue and our votes in the House Finance Committee today reflect this position.”

Background:

The House Democrats' 2019-21 operating budget proposal passed on March 29 would:

  • Spend $53 billion (current spending level is $44.4 billion).
  • Increase the operating budget by $8.6 billion and 19.4 percent.
  • Rely on $4.2 billion in new tax increases over four years. 

The March revenue forecast said:

  • The Near General Fund-State revenue forecast for the 2017-19 biennium has increased by $307 million, and revenue for the 2019-21 biennium has increased by $553.5 million.
  • Despite fairly small changes to the economic forecast, stronger-than-expected taxable activity has resulted in increases to forecasted revenue.
  • Current state spending: $44.4 billion. Revenue available for the 2019-21 biennium: $50.6 billion.
  • Note: Rep. Ed Orcutt is also Chair of the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

The 2019 legislative session is scheduled to end on April 28.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov