Senate rejects multi-billion-dollar tax increase proposals from Gov. Inslee, House Democrats

  • Senate votes 48-0 to defeat income tax, higher rates for business
  • Not even Senate Democrats support taxes proposed by House, governor
  • Points way for Legislature in special session — now must craft budget without tax hikes

OLYMPIA – Friday night’s unanimous votes against taxes in the state Senate were a big win for the taxpayers of Washington state, says Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale.

In the final major act of the Legislature’s regular session, the Senate voted 48-0 Friday night to reject proposals for a new income tax on capital gains and higher business and occupations tax rates for business. All Democrats and all Republicans voted no.

“It is clear that there is no support in the Legislature for Gov. Inslee’s big-government, multi-billion-dollar tax-increase agenda,” Ericksen said. “Not a single Senate Democrat voted to support Inslee’s fantasy tax proposals.

“It is sad and ridiculous that we had to wait this long for Democrats to admit they don’t have the votes to pass their tax increases. Now we need to get to work right away on a balanced budget that funds priorities and does not raise taxes.”

The Senate votes were the first test for the massive tax-increase proposals that have loomed over this year’s Legislature since it convened in January. The governor and majority Democrats in the House have proposed the biggest tax increases in Washington history – $5 billion every two years when fully implemented, under the plan favored by the House. Yet House Democrats have refused to take a vote on their own proposal, an indication they do not have the votes to pass it.

That has rendered meaningless a $46 billion spending proposal the House Democrats passed last month – a fantasy budget built on fake dollars, Ericksen says, aimed at fueling a big-government agenda. On Friday, the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus force a vote in the Senate on the House tax-increase proposals, exposing their lack of support. That points the way for the Legislature, which still must adopt a budget during a special session that begins Monday.

The Senate Majority Coalition Caucus already has passed a fully-funded balanced budget that does not require a tax increase yet meets the state’s needs, including K-12 education.

“I’m sure that if our Democratic colleagues in the Senate thought higher taxes were a good idea, they would have been willing to vote for them,” Ericksen said. “Now we ought to be able to dispense with this nonsense and settle our differences quickly.”