Friends and Neighbors,
These numbers might shock you!
Gov. Inslee claims we need new taxes to pay for government services. But is that really the case? Let's take a look…
Higher revenues coming into the state this year: We are expecting to have $3,000,000,000.00 more with which to write our 2015-17 budget than we had for the 2013-15 budget — almost 12 percent more!
New taxes proposed: Despite the revenue increase we are seeing, Gov. Inslee still wants $1,400,000,000.00 more from the taxpayers.
If you're wondering why on earth the state needs another $1.4 billion of your tax dollars when it's already getting nearly 12 percent more, you're not alone!
The reality is: State government has more than enough money to fund its current obligations.
We are now one week into the 2015 session. It will be a busy one, since we must address major policies and pass budgets. K-12 education funding will be the major focus of the operating budget.
This week I'll give an overview of our state budget situation.
As always, please don't hesitate to contact me with your questions, concerns or comments. I am here to serve you.
Inslee: New taxes, More spending
In his annual State of the State speech, Gov. Jay Inslee called for astonishing increases in state spending. To pay for his plan, he wants to raise some existing taxes and create new taxes, even though we'll see a significant increase in revenues from existing taxes this year (see sidebar for the stunning numbers involved).
I was disappointed not only by the governor's reckless tax hikes, but also by his lack of creativity. He didn't come up with anything new — it was the same as, or similar to, what has been proposed in the past which didn't go anywhere.
Another problem I noted in his speech was that he started out by saying he wanted to hear other people's ideas, but then went on to only talk about his own. This seems to be a pattern: There have been times, for example, when we've proposed transportation reforms, and he has completely rejected them. Instead, he takes the route of new and higher taxes.
For people in Southwest Washington, many of whom still struggle with unemployment and underemployment, the governor's rhetoric on income inequality rings hollow. It is not helpful at all for him to put forward plans that confiscate wealth and eliminate the very tax incentives that protect the good-paying jobs we all need. The best solution to poverty is a healthy economy, not an ever-growing government.
During this session my focus will continue to be protecting taxpayers, passing government reforms and improving the economy, so that people ultimately end up with more money in their pockets — not less — while still allowing the state to meet its obligations.
We want to create job opportunities that will better enable citizens to balance their own budgets. That in turn will generate additional revenue to help us balance the budget here in Olympia.