Senate Republican budget lead asks “What are we waiting for?”
OLYMPIA…The Bureau of Labor and Statistics released May 2022 inflation data today showing Washington is suffering through an annual inflation rate of 8.6 percent, meaning real worker wage growth has failed to keep up with the current record-high inflation crippling the working and middle class.
Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, made the following comment after reading details in the report:
“The biggest failure of the 2022 legislative session was the majority’s flat refusal to provide meaningful tax relief for people hardest hit by costs that are at a 40-year high. There is still no excuse for not helping struggling families in this time where historical inflation has eaten away at any discretionary income. Putting food on the table is getting harder and harder, disproportionately affecting the working and middle class. Gas prices have more than doubled since January 2021 and are rising daily, with no end in sight. This is the top concern at the state and national level, but majority Democrats here in Washington continue to fail the people they claim to put first.
“Let’s call a special session and give our families a much-needed tax break by suspending the state gas tax. Democrats have fought this idea, even while their national counterparts call for a suspension of the federal gas tax. How much clearer can the need for inflation relief be?
“The state currently has over $3 billion in reserves and the June revenue forecast is expected to increase that again significantly. Suspending the gas tax for the remainder of the year would provide real and progressive tax relief to all Washingtonians and would ensure our transportation budget is kept whole. We won’t have to reduce state services and the state will still have ample reserves. It’s past time. What are we waiting for?”