In a statement released this week, state Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, called on Gov. Jay Inslee to call a special session of the Legislature to pass a sales tax suspension.
“If Governor Inslee and Democratic leaders in Congress like Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer think a gas-tax holiday is a bad idea, let’s focus on suspending the state sales tax for Washingtonians,” Schoesler said. “It’s a fast and simple solution to help consumers in our state who are battling record inflation, and it would address what many people call a regressive tax. If the governor likes gas prices as high as they are, let’s offer tax relief in a different way. And let’s do it soon.”
According to Schoesler, who serves on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, a sales-tax suspension would be especially beneficial for places along Washington’s border with other states, including Spokane, Pullman and Vancouver, whose residents cross the border where they don’t have to pay sales tax.
Schoesler would like to see the sales tax reduced by one percentage point, preferably permanently, but at least until inflation declines.
He pointed to projections by the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, whose director, Dr. Steve Lerch, said inflation has driven increases in forecasted revenue.
“It’s wrong and immoral for the state to more or less make a profit off the backs of taxpayers due to record inflation. Our governor needs to realize this and finally support tax relief for Washingtonians instead of treating them like an ATM for his spending agenda,” Schoesler said.