February 9- Last year, the majority in Olympia raised the Business and Occupation Tax (B&O) on businesses like mine and more than 85,000 others. I was a very vocal opponent of the tax increase- testifying before the State Senate with the Association of Washington Businesses and being interviewed by King5 News.
This past week, the majority party passed a tax increase to 4,400 more businesses; with an estimated impact on over 450,000 Washington employees. And, once again, Abbarno is in opposition of this regressive funding mechanism that disproportionately impacts small and family-owned businesses in our communities.
Investments in Workforce Development and creating more opportunities for higher education is a very important goal; however, it is fiscally irresponsible to impose tax increases through a regressive funding mechanism at a time when the State is experiencing revenue growth from existing sources.Peter Abbarno, business owner, attorney, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem, and Candidate for State House in the 20th Legislative District
The legislation, ESSB 6492, passed both chambers along party lines (with a number of Democrats joining Republicans) in opposition of the tax increase and expansion. The tax increase and expansion comes in response to higher-than-expected costs for the Washington College Grant, which lawmakers created through last year’s Workforce Education Investment Act. The program was created to offer free college by paying full tuition and fees.
Effective and sustainable investments should be the hallmark of legislation coming from Olympia. There are few better investments than education and workforce development, but there are ways to improve education and expand workforce development without punishing local businesses. It is about solutions and doing the hard work to find them. That is what I will bring to Olympia.
The Business and Occupation Tax being increased and expanded is a tax on the gross revenue of a business- meaning government has their hand in the pocket of small and family owned businesses before they even see a dollar. The State should be prioritizing and using the ample existing sources.
The voters of Washington, and most certainly the 20th Legislative District, overwhelmingly voiced their ‘tax fatigue’ and rejected virtually every tax advisory vote on the 2019 ballot and passed limitation on car tab fees. When elected to the State House in the 20th Legislative District, I will carry that message to Olympia- Loud and Clear- our families and businesses have had enough of irresponsible taxing and spending.Peter Abbarno, business owner, attorney, Centralia Mayor Pro Tem, and Candidate for State House in the 20th Legislative District