Dear Friends and Neighbors,
In my video update (1:38) this week, I talk about the stories of two people who have been impacted by the economic downturn. You can watch it here or by clicking on the picture to the right.
“Close tax loopholes” is a phrase heard a lot in Olympia. Activists who are against reductions in state spending are trying to convince legislators to end certain tax incentives (loopholes), which means raising taxes, to address the budget shortfall and pay for things like education.
Washington state is expected to bring in nearly 14 percent more revenue – or just under $4 billion more – this upcoming two-year budget cycle compared to the last one. Tax incentives strengthen our economy by attracting and retaining investments, and creating and preserving jobs. In the first 10 years after our state created a sales tax incentive on manufacturing and equipment, it created 285,000 new jobs.
Washington state cannot tax itself into prosperity, and “closing tax loopholes” is a poor excuse for not making education the number one priority in our state. I sponsored a measure called “Fund Education First” last year, which would have required the state to pass an education-only budget first before any other appropriations. The majority party has not allowed this proposal to move forward. The bottom line is: We don't need to raise taxes to prioritize education. We just need to have a courageous conversation and political will.
We must continue to reach and strive for greatness because the potential for our community and state are limitless. Have a great Easter weekend.
421 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7922 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000