Washington doesn’t have a tax problem. It has a spending problem. State spending has almost doubled in the last eight years.
Most Washington citizens have heard about the plans the current Governor and his minions in Olympia have for raising taxes. They want to create a new state income tax—a tax the has historically been rejected by Washington citizens over 10 times. They want to raise fuel prices by adding a “carbon tax” to existing gasoline taxes. They want to raise taxes on Washington businesses. And they want to raise property taxes—AGAIN!
The people in this state that I’ve talked to over the last year are against all of these tax schemes. And so am I.
As Governor, I will veto any of these bad ideas that come to my desk.
Facing a “cash deficiency” and overall budget shortfall because of the current Governor’s actions, the state should NOT move directly to raising taxes. It should trim its spending. And these adjustments don’t have to be drastic—we can adjust to lower current tax receipts by trimming back to 2017 or 2016 spending levels.
Our state government was able to deliver basic education and essential services effectively at 2016 and 2017 levels. We should be able to maintain those core operations of government while returning to those recent spending levels.
On a broader level, I’m tired of seeing the Olympia establishment using various types of “crisis” to justify raising taxes. It’s an old trick that tax-and-spenders in this state have been using for years. Decades, even. This will end when I am Governor.
Finally, we hear a lot from tax-and-spenders that Washington has a “regressive” state tax structure. Some complain that we have the “most regressive” tax structure in the United States. But these same tax-and-spenders turn around and promote new taxes, like the “carbon tax” and property tax hikes, that are regressive. They fall most heavily on poor people and working people.
The best way to avoid “regressive” taxes is to stop raising taxes, period. And, going forward, we should look for ways to make state taxes flatter and fairer.
That’s MY approach to tax policy.