Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Due to election-year restrictions, this will be my last e-mail update until November. Please feel free to contact my office, however, with any questions, concerns or suggestions about our community and state. If interested, I am available to speak to your group and provide a session review. My contact information is at the bottom of this e-mail.
The special session finally adjourned April 13, lasting the fully allotted 30 days. The final tax package passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor includes the following increases:
- $242 million tax increase on service employers, like hair stylists and real estate agents
- $59 million tax increase on beer, a 50-cent increase per gallon (micro-brews are exempt)
- $34 million tax increase on soda, a 2-cent increase per 12 oz.
- $31 million tax increase on candy and gum
- $155 million tax increase on direct sellers like Mary Kay and Avon
- $101 million tax increase on tobacco productsThis amounts to the largest one-year tax increase in state history, and a $1.7 billion tax increase for 2011-2013. I voted ‘no,’ because attempts to reform government were not even considered and because these taxes will impede job growth. View the solutions I supported before session began to create more jobs in Washington here.Unfortunately, tax increases were the largest portion of the answer to the $2.8 billion budget gap this year. This budget simply isn’t sustainable, because 50 percent of the supplemental budget is derived from one-time monies. The Spokesman Review and Seattle Times agree. This Band-Aid approach will only lead to problems down the road, and even the governor’s office and nonpartisan think tanks have recognized we will likely face another multi-billion shortfall next year.
Thank you for the honor of serving as your state representative. I will write you again in November.
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000