Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It's now Day 27 of the 30-day special session. Finally, Democrats in the House and Senate have reached agreement on a $794 million tax package. Senate Democrats have abandoned their sales tax increase proposal, so that has cleared the way for a lengthy list of other tax increases proposed by House Democrats.
Meantime, the cost of the special session is now approaching $180,000!
If you're like me, you are probably shaking your head, looking at that figure, especially since the state budget has a $2.7 billion shortfall. The Legislature should have resolved its budget problems within the allotted 60-day regular session, which ended March 11.
Republicans brought solutions to the table, which would have balanced the supplemental budget WITHOUT tax increases, by prioritizing spending for education, public safety and protecting the state's most vulnerable citizens. We also offered a jobs plan that would have lowered costs for employers so they could retain existing employees and hire again. Job creation is the long-term solution to our state budget problems. Unfortunately, Democrats in charge of the House and the Senate were not interested in our proposals. They were only interested in tax increases. It's just that they couldn't agree among themselves about which taxes to increase. That's what pushed the Legislature into a special session.
Lawmakers have been called back to Olympia this afternoon and its very likely we will soon be voting on a tax package. Preliminarily, what we are being told is that it will likely increase taxes on the following professionals: veterinarians, optometrists, dentists, graphic artists, attorneys, accountants, property management, direct sellers, hairstylists, and architects. Products that will cost more because of tax increases include: candy, bottled water, soda, beer, cigarettes and cigars. This is a preview, since I am still waiting to see a final tax package from the Democrats.
Regardless, I will be voting NO on any tax increases.
I happen to agree with this statement: “The last thing we want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just suck up, take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole.”
Do you know who said that?
President Barack Obama – Aug. 5, 2009.
I will continue to keep you informed as I know more.
It is an honor to serve and represent you!
In your service,