Legislative News for Washington’s 2nd District: The effort to tax continues

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Watch my video update.

The effort to tax, tax, tax continues

Every year in the Legislature, we see our fair share of bad bills make it to the Senate floor for a vote. Some of the worst ones involve raising your taxes. This week, I want to shine a spotlight on a bill that increases the business tax on a variety of businesses, including hair dressers, plumbers, health-care providers, welders and more.

Usually, we don’t see large tax bills come to the floor so early in session, but Senate Bill 6492 was intended to correct a bill passed last year that had errors in it. This is what happens when we rush bills through the legislative process. And this is how the Legislature raised taxes by $26 billion over the next 10 years.

In fact, SB 6492 is a tax increase billed as a tax decrease. It revisits a 20-percent increase in the business tax that the majority passed last year. SB 6492 adds more businesses to the list of those who will experience the tax increase and it slightly lowers the increase, but doesn’t remove it.

It’s like being told a $150 jacket is on sale for $130. You think you’re getting a good deal, but the jacket was only $75 last week and the store raised the price to $150 before marking it down to $130. You’re still paying more than you should. You’ve been tricked.

During the debate on SB 6492, I offered an amendment to exempt certain health-care providers that treat Medicaid patients. It was rejected. In fact, all the amendments we offered were rejected except the one requiring that this tax increase be subject to the 4-year balanced budget requirement. You can watch my floor speech to learn more about why I thought this amendment was important.

Another amendment that was rejected was one that would have exempted nursing homes. It’s inexcusable to be raising taxes on skilled nursing facilities, which are already closing at an alarming rate in Washington. Why would anyone raise their taxes, forcing many of our parents and grandparents out on the street? SB 6492 is a terrible bill that hurts hardworking taxpayers across the state.

watch buttonMany of us have sponsored bills that would help businesses. One example is one I sponsored — Senate Bill 6059, which would exempt independent health-care providers from the increase. We do not need higher taxes that will drive our doctors out of state or prevent doctors from moving to our state. We do not need providers turning away Medicaid patients because their taxes are so high that they can’t afford to help lower-income patient or they’re absorbed by the larger hospital system.


Saving salmon NOW without removing the Snake River dams

Watch the news conference where Republicans announce a plan to act now to increase the salmon population and save the orca whales. Breaching the Snake River dams is unnecessary and would take decades to implement as the effort works its way through the court system. Our plan would be modeled after a hatchery program in Alaska that has had startling success. Learn more about the plan. 

Welcome to the Capitol: City of Orting and South Pierce Fire and Rescue

It’s always a great day at the Capitol when constituents come to visit me. This week, I welcomed officials from the City of Orting and the South Pierce Fire and Rescue Group, which included fire commissioners Gina Blanchard, Skip Simmons and John Linboe. Thank you for stopping in. It’s so important for the people to be involved in the legislative process. If you would like to visit me in Olympia, contact my office. 

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