Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are in the homestretch of the 30-day special session that began on May 13. Progress has been slow and a lot of work remains to be done in the final days.
The special session can be distilled into one question: Should the operating budget include $1 billion in tax increases?
The governor and House Democrats say, “yes.” They want to raise taxes by around $1 billion at a time when our economy is fragile. The centerpiece of the House Democrats' tax-increase package (House Bill 2038) would permanently extend the B&O surtax on service businesses – which represents a large category of employers.
A comprehensive list of service businesses wasn't available initially. Through research, I found Main Street employers such as accountants, amusement and recreation industries, architects, assisted living facilities, auto dealers, builders, child day care facilities, dentists, direct selling, doctors, dry cleaning and laundry services, employment services, fruit farming, legal services, nursing care facilities, personal care services, real estate activities, traveler accommodations, social and civic advocacy organizations, and many more would be adversely impacted. This is just a fraction of businesses that would be expected to pay more – so that state government could grow more.
Is your business on the list? Please be sure to check to see if you are one of the employers listed: https://houserepublicans.wa.gov/files/uploads/TheList.pdf
The House Republicans and Senate Majority Coalition Caucus are saying “no” to new tax increases. We believe – and have shown – the operating budget can be balanced with existing revenue. Please remember our state is expected to collect $2 billion more in revenue in the 2013-15 budget cycle compared to the current one. How many families and employers would like to be in that situation? But for some in Olympia, it's not enough.
In your service,