Lower Taxes

There’s plenty of money coming in to the state coffers from Washington taxpayers, but advocates of Big Government have an insatiable appetite for more. Lawmakers should use the Yellow Pages test: Government should only do what individuals and private enterprise cannot do.

Last year, after the longest continuous legislative session in state history, the Legislature passed budgets that totaled over $88 Billion in state spending, and that’s without a Capital Budget which died in negotiations [1] and wasn’t passed until January 2018. The Capital Budget added $4.2 Billion in new projects for the 2017-2019 Biennium, for a total of $92.2 Billion for the two0year budget cycle. Keep that figure in mind: $92,200,000,000.

For comparison, total state spending in the 2009-2011 budgets was $70.7 Billion, and the 2001-2003 budgets totaled under $50 Billion. That’s quite a leap, far outpacing inflation and population growth. Follow the link in the footnotes below to a chart which shows how dramatically the state spending has increased since 1997 compared to inflation and population growth. [2] That’s a heavy burden. Combined with the out-of-control spending from DC, as of 2017 we are now paying more in taxes than in housing, clothing, and food combined! [3] In 2017, Tax Freedom Day for Washington State—that is, the day when you have earned enough to pay for the year’s taxes—was April 27, later than in 39 other states. [4]

During my four years as a legislator, I focused on solutions that cost little to no money to implement, or better yet saved money. Often a simple tweak to existing law is all that’s needed to lift the burden and make things run more efficiently. For example, volunteer firefighters brought to my attention that they were being prevented from paying into their own death benefit system at the same level as career firefighters. I proposed the bill to tweak it; it passed unanimously and was signed into law. A flower shop owner from my district asked why the law forbade people from misleading customers via the yellow pages, purporting to be local companies when they were not, but did nothing to prevent this deception via the Internet. Simple fix; add a few words to existing law. My bill passed and was signed into law. Daycare owners around our district alerted me to the fact that regulations for fire safety of daycare centers seemed to be changing willy-nilly according to Dept of Early Learning bureaucrats’ whims, resulting in very expensive changes to structure and playgrounds. One year it’s bark for the playground, the next it’s pea gravel; “move this doorway over 6 more inches and you’ll be approved…oops, move it back.” I was able to get a bill passed and signed into law that allows the local fire department to determine if the place is safe. Another bill that I helped get through the House was a simple bill to change the years allowed for a lease of the former Northern State Hospital property; this bill made it more feasible for a private business to open on those grounds and provide good local jobs in addition to manufacturing a product that helps third-world countries make more potable water. My bill passed Committee unanimously, paving the way for its identical companion bill from the Senate to be passed and signed into law. This bill not only saved state taxpayers money but also created jobs.

I have had a consistent public message of fiscal responsibility since 2008 when I served on my city’s Citizens’ Levy Review Committee and pushed for the city to live within its means instead of increasing taxes. For my consistent legislative work toward smaller, smarter government, I was repeatedly awarded “Small Business Guardian” by NFIB which represents thousands of small businesses in our state, “Friend of the Farmer” by Washington State Farm Bureau, and awards from Washington Food Industry Association (independent groceries), Washington Realtors Association, Affordable Housing Council, Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights, and more.

I have a consistent track record of fighting for lower taxes and living with our means. It would be an honor to be your voice in Olympia again. I appreciate your support.

Sources:

[1] http://fiscal.wa.gov/BudgetO.aspx

[2] https://www.freedomfoundation.com/sites/default/files/documents/Big%20Spender%20Report%202014_0.pdf  See the graph on page 7 of the report, which is marked as Page 6. Numbers used are from fiscal.wa.gov, a state government website.

[3] https://taxfoundation.org/tax-freedom-day-2017/

[4] https://files.taxfoundation.org/20170418100254/2017-Tax-Freedom-Day-01.png