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A bold proposal that puts Washington taxpayers first

Sen Doug Ericksen

  • Puts state government on a budget and returns excess tax dollars to taxpayers
  • Reduces state sales tax
  • Provides tax incentive for Washington manufacturers

We have a gusher of tax money flowing into state coffers – a record $5 billion in new tax collections for the next two years. It’s time for the Washington Legislature to give some of that money back to the people who paid it.

That’s why I have introduced a taxpayer protection package in Olympia, to make the case for tax cuts and responsible spending.

Too often, lawmakers assume they are free to spend every penny they receive – and then they tell us it is still not enough. The governor this year has proposed a $10 billion spending increase, and big new taxes to pay for it. Yet tax collections are up nearly 50 percent since 2013, and there has been no meaningful effort to reduce Washington’s tax burden.

We can do better. When our economy is strong, we need to establish sensible spending priorities, to avoid taking on obligations we can’t afford in the future. We should encourage new family-wage manufacturing jobs. And most importantly, we should allow the people of the state to share in Washington’s good fortune.

What’s in the package?

SB 5609 – Property-tax “kicker” — When tax collections are excessive, this bill would require the Legislature to use the money for one-time expenses or property tax reductions — potentially billions in tax relief. This bill builds on the spending limits approved by Washington voters with Initiative 601 in 1993. Spending growth is limited to the rate of inflation plus population, and the bill prohibits the accounting trickery that has allowed lawmakers to evade I-601 spending limits.

SB 5608Reduces business tax rates for all manufacturers, providing new incentives for good-paying jobs. All manufacturers would get the same low tax rate we give to Boeing.

SB 5610Reduces the state sales tax rate by half a percent, from 6.5 percent to 6 percent. This would return $1.7 billion to Washington taxpayers every two years. We’ll see the payoff in more sales, more jobs and a brighter future for Whatcom County and our state.

I hope you will join with me in supporting these important measures to keep our economy strong.