Ericksen: Inslee energy tax is ‘death tax’ on Washington

  • Would increase gas taxes 40 percent – plus large automatic increases every year.
  • Electricity costs will rise; manufacturers will face higher costs.
  • Inslee death tax impacts lower-income and middle-class families more than wealthy.

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest proposal for a tax on energy use in Washington state will devastate Washington’s economy and create hardship for people across the state, says Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, ranking Republican on the Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee.

“This energy tax is really a death tax on the state of Washington,” Ericksen said. “It’s death for manufacturing. It’s death for the middle-class families who will wind up paying the bulk of this tax.”

Inslee’s proposal, a $20-a-ton tax on carbon emissions, will dramatically increase the cost of electricity and motor fuel in this state, and raise costs for manufacturers for whom carbon emissions are an unavoidable product of industrial processes, Ericksen observed. What Inslee fails to emphasize, he said, is that costs ultimately will be borne by the people of the state, in the form of higher energy costs, higher prices for food, durable products and services, and economic stagnation that will make it more difficult for employers to create jobs.

Inslee’s proposal would increase state taxes on gasoline by 40 percent, just for starters, adding 20 cents to the cost of a gallon of gas. But it doesn’t end there. The tax increases at a rate faster than inflation, and at current rates the tax would double within 12 years. Other impacts are still being calculated.

“Gov. Inslee’s death tax specifically targets lower-income people and middle-class families because they will pay a much higher percentage of their income in taxes than will the wealthy,” Ericksen said. “It exempts many big corporations with loopholes while massively raising taxes on small businesses and the middle class. This is corporate cronyism at its worst.

“Under Jay Inslee’s death tax, the companies with the most lobbyists win, and working families are the ones who will pay.”