House and Senate Republican Leaders: Now is the time to speak up for tax relief, against state income tax

House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox and Senate Republican Leader John Braun are encouraging Washingtonians to participate in virtual Tax Town Halls across the state being hosted by the Washington State Tax Structure Work Group. The Republican leaders are saying now is the time to speak up for tax relief and against a state income tax.

“If you want a contrast of Republican and Democratic approaches in the Legislature, the issue of taxes offers clear differences. Republicans believe the state has more than enough revenue to pay for its priorities and that the Legislature could provide tax relief. Democrats have raised taxes the last three years,” said Wilcox, R-Yelm. “Republicans are hearing from constituents who are concerned about the direction of the state, including affordability and tax burdens. People now have an opportunity to be heard, directly, on the issue of taxes. And they can do it from their own homes.”

The Tax Structure Work Group has been tasked with “identifying options to make Washington State tax code more equitable, adequate, stable, and transparent.” It is comprised of state lawmakers and representatives from the Governor's Office, Washington State Department of Revenue, Washington State Association of Counties, and Association of Washington Cities.

“The Democrats have imposed billions in new and higher taxes on Washington residents over the past few years. It didn't matter how the economic shutdowns of the past year hit families and employers – this spring the majority approved a statewide income tax, despite voters defeating income-tax proposals 10 times, and kept the payroll tax that will take effect in January,” said Braun, R-Centralia. “Some people are at their breaking point. They can't afford an increase of more than $1 per gallon on gas when none of it goes to build roads. They can't afford the higher prices on everything from food to electricity that result from producers paying higher taxes. People want relief. They want to be heard. This is their chance.”

There will be seven regional virtual Tax Town Halls, beginning September 22, and people can sign up and participate through Zoom links. Each event will offer two sessions on the same day: one session from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. and another session from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

East Region | Legislative Districts: 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 16
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
2:30 – 4:00 p.m. | Sign up here
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. | Sign up here

Central Region | Legislative Districts: 8, 12, 13, 14, 15
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
2:30 – 4:00 p.m. | Sign up here
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. | Sign up here

Northwest Region | Legislative Districts: 10, 38, 39, 40, 42, 44
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
2:30 – 4:00 p.m. | Sign up here
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. | Sign up here

West Region | Legislative Districts: 2, 22, 23, 24, 26, 35
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
2:30 – 4:00 p.m. | Sign up here
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. | Sign up here

Southwest Region | Legislative Districts: 17, 18, 19, 20, 49
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
2:30 – 4:00 p.m. | Sign up here
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. | Sign up here

North/Central Puget Sound Region | Legislative Districts: 1, 11, 21, 32, 34, 36, 37, 43, 46
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
2:30 – 4:00 p.m. | Sign up here
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. | Sign up here

South/East Puget Sound Region | Legislative Districts: 5, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 41, 45, 47, 48
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
2:30 – 4:00 p.m. | Sign up here
6:30 – 8:00 p.m. | Sign up here

According to the Tax Structure Work Group's website, the virtual Tax Town Hall agenda includes: purpose and goals of the Tax Structure Work Group; background information on the current state tax structure; and interactive breakout sessions where participants explore scenarios for changes to the state tax structure and share their feedback.

Those interested in participating can find their legislative district by visiting this district finder. Anyone with questions or accessibility concerns can send an email to: info@taxworkgroup.org.

Despite Washington state tax collections being strong before, and resilient during, the pandemic, Gov. Inslee and legislative Democrats have passed new tax increases over the last three years – including a new payroll tax and a new income tax on capital gains. Find the complete list here.

The 60-day 2022 legislative session is scheduled to begin January 10.  

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov