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Friends and Neighbors,

With the bang of the gavel we began the 2017 legislative session at noon on Monday, Jan. 9. It is an honor to once again be sworn-in to serve the people of the 20th District.

The governor's budget proposal for 2017-19

During budget years, the governor is always the first to put forth a budget proposal. I was disappointed that it included a proposal to implement taxes totaling $7 billion by 2019-21. However, I was pleased that in his inaugural address he indicated a willingness to consider other approaches to fully funding education and still balance the budget.

budgetHere is a breakdown of the proposed tax increases:

– Increases the B&O tax rate from 1.5 percent to 2.5  percent on certain employers
– Creates an income-tax with 7.9 percent tax on capital gains (investments earnings)
– A new carbon tax – $25 per metric ton, automatically increasing 3.5 percent each year.
– New taxes on service providers
– Imposes a sales tax on bottled water

You can take a look at the Governor's budget proposal details here.

Many of these tax increases have been proposed before – some of them numerous times. This proposal seeks to put a tax on bottled water – again. The Legislature added this tax in 2010 but Washington voters overwhelmingly repealed it that November. Taxing bottled water wasn't a good idea then, and it is not a good idea now. The tax on capital gains and carbon emission has been proposed before. And, I have worked to protect taxpayers from these proposed increases which voters have consistently opposed as well:

Initiative 1098 – Voters rejected income tax (64.15 percent in 2010)Rep Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama
Initiative 1107 – Voters repealed sales tax on bottled water (60.44 percent in 2010)
Initiative 732 – Voters rejected carbon tax (59.25 percent in 2016)
Initiative 464 – Voters repealed tax on vehicle trade-in (68.95 in 1984)

Furthermore, voters approved a measure that would have required a two-third's legislative majority, or voter approval, to raise taxes:

Initiative 1053 – Two-third majority required to raise taxes (63.75% in 2010)

We have pressing needs in our state. Fixing our mental health program and improving school funding are at the top of the list. But, we need to start by looking for the best way to provide services within existing revenues. Excessive taxes do nothing but inhibit economic growth and opportunity. Right now we need more jobs, not more taxes.

Stay in touch

Feel free to contact me if you need help with a state agency or if you have questions, comments or suggestions about any proposed legislation. My email and contact information are listed below.


Ed Orcutt

State Representative Ed Orcutt, 20th Legislative District
408 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
360-786-7990 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000