Greetings from Olympia! The Legislature needs to adopt a new state budget before we can adjourn, and that means we need to know how much tax revenue is available to continue supporting vital services and programs (such as K-12 education) and for new investments. The latest revenue figures were released this week, and the bottom line is that the Legislature should have another $860 million to use in budgeting – on top of what was already available when the session began in January. This is more than enough to cover the needs of government and significantly enhance spending on special education and behavioral health, which are among the priorities shared by Republicans and Democrats this year. There’s even enough to have a discussion about tax relief!
Even with this great news, the governor and the majority Democrats are still proposing new taxes, such as a property tax increase, green energy mandate and an increased gas tax. This is in addition to a proposed income tax (on capital gains income, to start with) and a proposed increase in the business and occupation tax – which you can learn more about in my video below.
We are in the best spot in this century to write a budget within the means provided by the taxpayers of Washington. There is absolutely no need to raise taxes to balance a budget!