House GOP budget leaders say NO to tax increases

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House GOP budget leaders say NO to tax increases

‘Before we talk of tax increases we need to talk about downsizing government,’ says Alexander

‘You can’t take more from people who have less,’ says Orcutt

 

House Republican budget leaders spoke out today against possible tax increases being considered by Governor Gregoire and majority Democrats in the Legislature.

In a blog post today by Olympia reporter Austin Jenkins, Gregoire’s new chief of staff Jay Manning made comments to suggest the administration is leaning towards tax increases to help balance state spending.

Rep. Gary Alexander, R-Olympia, and ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee said the governor is opening the door to tax increases on struggling families without exhausting all available options.

“Before we talk of tax increases we need to talk about downsizing government,” Alexander said.  “We need to take the time to redefine state government’s role in our lives.  Are there services and programs that can best be handled by the private sector?  We’ve yet to fully embrace the supposed ‘third leg’ of collective bargaining by studying and implementing private contract services.

“I do agree with one part of Jay Manning’s statement and that is we can’t just cut our way out of our budget hole,” Alexander continued.  “There has to be a plan of action — a reprioritization and refocus on the core services that government provides.  Families and businesses around our state are having to do more than just cut, they’re having to improvise and get creative.  State government should do the same.”

Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, and ranking Republican on the House Finance Committee, said the governor should be focusing on getting people back to work and keeping jobs in this state.

“The governor needs to understand there were far too few Washingtonians making near her $160,000 per year salary and since they’ve been laid off, they certainly aren’t making it now,” Orcutt said.  “Long before they were laid off, she said that we couldn’t afford a tax increase.  Well, how can she believe we can afford it now?

“Gregoire said no to tax increases in her 2004 campaign, but raised them in 2005.  She said no to tax increases in her 2008 campaign, yet she’s again contemplating them for 2010,” Orcutt continued.  “She needs to stop talking about taxes and start talking about solutions – solutions to the layoffs, solutions to high taxes.  I guarantee, higher taxes won’t solve either problem – it will only make them worse.

“You can’t take more from people who have less,” Orcutt said.  “And that’s the bottom line.  You can’t improve the economy by taking more money out of taxpayers’ pockets.”

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Contact: Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer, (509) 921-2356

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov