Wilcox votes ‘no’ on $905 million in tax increases

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Wilcox votes ‘no’ on $905 million in tax increases

The House of Representatives considered House Democrats' proposal to increases taxes April 24. Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, spoke and voted against House Bill 2038, saying everyone in Washington would be negatively affected and that new taxes are not needed to fully fund education.

“The majority of the dollars brought in by this tax package are not used for education funding, but on all the other things that the state does. There's a small difference in education funding between the no-new-taxes approach of the Senate and the massive tax increase approach by the House Democrats, so really, this tax package is about supplanting the current level of state spending,” Wilcox said. “We can and should fund education first so schoolchildren are not held hostage by a tax increase on their parents.”

Wilcox took exception to the 'temporary' business and occupation tax increase passed in 2010 that would be made permanent under the proposal.

“Going through the list of people affected by these taxes, I know this is not a tax on the few or the 'one-percent.' This is a Main Street tax, on people all across this state. This is a tax on the smallest businesses. I see it as a tax on self-employed people and very small businesses that don't have any way of compensating,” Wilcox said. “Why do we think this tax is here? I can only assume because it gets the most money – it's by far the largest tax increase in the package. That's not a careful review.”

During a public hearing April 19, several small business owners testified that they were waiting to hire and/or lay off employees. Wilcox was grateful to the everyday people who took time out of their schedules to share their concern on the legislation. He said it made a difference.

Though the original package would have raised $1.3 billion in new taxes, amendments in the Finance Committee reduced that to $900 million. Wilcox said the reductions were mostly due to public outcry on proposed taxes on beer, insurance agents, janitors, and people who work at ports.

“I was proud that Main Street people and Republicans joined together to fight these tax increases. People need certainty right now – both consumers and employers,” Wilcox said. “The public doesn't need more taxes. They've made it plain they want the Legislature to live within its means, and I believe we should do just that.”

House Bill 2038 to increase taxes passed 50-47. It now goes to the Senate for consideration. The 2013 regular session is scheduled to adjourn April 28.


Washington State House Republican Communications