Gov. Jay Inslee released his 2013-15 budget proposal last week, calling for a spending increase of $1.2 billion compared to the prior budget.
Just six months ago, during a heated campaign against then-state Atty. Gen. Rob McKenna, Inslee repeatedly promised not to raise taxes. It was, in our opinion, a key to Inslee’s win in November.
Inslee said during a televised debate in October “... I don’t believe that tax increases are the right route forward for our state.”
At a debate in Yakima, also this past October, Inslee said, “Under my plan, it should not be necessary to address that issue because in my plan we’re not going to request additional taxes.”
At another debate just before the election, Inslee said, “I would veto anything that heads the wrong direction and the wrong direction is new taxes in the state of Washington.”
Now, instead of vetoing a proposal from the Senate or House to raise taxes, Inslee is leading the way to higher taxes.
We see no justification for asking state citizens to spend more of their money on government services.
State revenues under Inslee’s plan would rise from $31.3 billion in the 2011-13 biennium to a projected $34.7 billion in 2013-15. That would include the $1.2 billion in higher taxes.
We don’t have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.
In 2010, “temporary” taxes on beer and some business services passed, but were supposed to sunset this year. The taxes, which include limiting tax exemptions, are $94 million on new car purchases, $51 million on bottled water, business and occupation taxes of $94 million, $534 million on service-industry businesses, $78 million for computer software purchases, $83 million for telephone services, and even extending the tax on the state’s microbreweries, which is expected to raise $127 million.
State college tuition, under Inslee’s plan, would rise by 5 percent, while at the same time increased compensation payments to state workers would rise by $800 million.
Inslee’s proposal to raise taxes marks a misunderstanding by the rookie governor. Washington state’s economy is fragile and the economic recovery from the Great Recession still under way.
Raising taxes on working families and small businesses puts the recovery in peril.
Inslee should go back and view his talking points during the election and give the voters what he promised in regard to taxes.
We ask Inslee to simply walk his talk.