Governor Inslee recently released his 2021-23 operating budget and his 2021 supplemental budget proposals. If the Governor’s 2021 supplemental and 2021-23 budgets were both adopted, state spending would increase by $5.5 billion (10.5%) between 2019-21 and 2021-23. In addition to new taxes, the budget transfers $2 billion from the Budget Stabilization Account (BSA) to the state general fund.
We must have higher expectations for the Governor’s Budget. Rather than measure the success of a budget or program by how much money is taxed and spent, we must begin measuring success by people lifted out of poverty, jobs created, businesses thriving, and students graduating. The Governor’s proposed budget includes a new taxes and recycled 35 years of old policies that created the problems we face today.Peter Abbarno, Representative-Elect in the 20th Legislative District.
Governor Inslee proposed Capital Gains taxes in the past three sessions, despite the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Revenue, and other states classifying Capital Gains as income; and by extension a capital gains tax as an income tax. According to Article 7, Section 1 of the Washington State Constitution, all taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property. The word “property” includes everything, whether tangible or intangible, subject to ownership. Therefore, it is unconstitutional to a class of property differently for different owners.
The state is projected to collect $3.7 billion more in taxes in over the next two year than in the last biennium budget. Despite rising collections, the Governor proposes $4 billion in new taxes over the next four years, including:
- A new capital gains tax of 9% on capital gains above $25K for individuals and $50K for joint filers, with exceptions for sole proprietorships, retirement accounts, homes, and farms;
- Narrowing the scope of an existing bad debt deduction/credit on B&O and sales taxes; and
- A new covered lives assessment on health insurers, managed care organizations, limited health contractors, and third party administrators.
Governor Inslee’s proposed budget is a 10.5% increase in spending from the last biennium. If you’re keeping track, that is a 70% increase in spending since the Governor took office only 8 years ago. Working families and small businesses are struggling and want real relief, not new taxes. This week, the Governor missed the mark by focusing on fringe space needle policies rather than the working families and small businesses across our state. Our community, especially rural Washington, needs relief from taxes and regulations and incentives to grow, expand, and create jobs.Peter Abbarno, Representative-Elect in the 20th Legislative District.