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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The majority party in the House released a state operating budget on Friday. It would spend a total of approximately $39 billion, and includes $1.5 billion in new taxes and tax increases this year alone. Next year the total amount of new and increased taxes would total $2.4 billion. The new tax increases in their budget include:

  • a new capital gains (income tax);
  • repealing certain tax incentives;
  • an increase on the B&O service tax rate; and
  • a tax on transactions from out-of-state online retailers.

The state of Washington will already take in an additional $3 billion in tax revenues over the next two years. That's an 8.6 percent increase over the last budget cycle. It is enough to cover all of our current obligations as well as investments this year in K-12 education and mental health improvements. Yet the majority party is proposing a spending plan that goes beyond our current ability to pay. Sustainable, responsible budgets are essential to the long-term economic health of our state. Under this budget proposal, state spending would reach $43 billion in four years. That is unsustainable and fiscally irresponsible. Rep. Harris speak on the House of Representatives floor.

I encourage you to review the budget documents by clicking here. There is a public hearing today and I expect the full House to be voting on the spending plan on Thursday.

The House also released a bipartisan capital budget proposal this week, and House Democrats will unveil their transportation spending plan this week as well. I will continue to keep you updated on these budget proposals as we move through the last few weeks of the session.

I expect us to adjourn on time, April 26. There is no reason for a special session given the increase in revenue we have coming in to fulfill our budget obligations.

Sincerely,


Paul Harris

State Representative Paul Harris, 17th Legislative District
RepresentativePaulHarris.com
426A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
paul.harris@leg.wa.gov
(564) 888-2393 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000