OLYMPIA… The list of major tax-relief proposals before the Legislature this year no longer belongs solely to Republicans, now that a member of the Senate’s Democratic majority is proposing a one-point drop in the state sales tax.
Sen. Lynda Wilson, Republican leader on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Drew Stokesbary, Republican leader on the House Appropriations Committee, say they’re encouraged by the introduction of Senate Bill 5932, saying it supports their message that legislators should turn part of the state’s projected $10-plus billion budget surplus into significant, direct tax relief this year.
“It’s great to see bipartisan recognition that now is the time for major tax relief, in one form or another. We welcome this proposal and look forward to having serious discussions about how to best let families and employers keep more of their own money. That would be a refreshing contrast to the past few sessions, when the majority was choosing instead how to take billions more from families and employers, even though there was no budget deficit to address.
“A drop in the state sales tax would save billions of dollars, and so would the Republican proposals that are targeted toward lowering property taxes, promoting manufacturing growth and suspending the state gas tax. There are advantages to each, but for today, the news is how legislators on both sides of the aisle now agree that billions of dollars’ worth of tax relief can happen without affecting existing services and programs.
“We’re not surprised by this proposal, knowing families in districts represented by our Democratic colleagues are struggling with inflation and a variety of tax burdens just as much as the people we serve. But we do hope this first move by the Senate majority toward major tax relief isn’t also its last – and we’ll be looking for proposals from the House majority as well.
“Living in Washington has become unaffordable for many. It’s time for the people to get a break.”