Chandler and Taylor say ‘no’ to Band-aid budget
The House of Representatives Friday night passed a supplemental operating budget to close the $2.7 billion spending gap by a vote of 55-43.
The 2009-11 budget as passed the House would spend just 4.2 percent less than the 2007-09 budget, which enjoyed a surplus.
“You wouldn’t know we were facing an economic crisis with the way this budget was written,” said Chandler, R-Granger. “After 60 days of hand-wringing, the Legislature passed a budget that reduces state spending a total of one percent from the budget adopted last year.While families, employers and individuals continue to struggle and make sacrifices, the state government will stay the same. Constituents expect and deserve for the state to live within its means just as they do.”
The $31 billion budget would seek to close the shortfall by:
- increasing taxes ($857 million);
- reducing spending ($653 million);
- using federal funds ($641 million);
- transferring from other state funds ($236 million);
- draining the state’s rainy day fund ($229 million).
Taylor warned that the budget would have long-term consequences.
“Our decisions impact people’s lives,” said Taylor, R-Moxee. “Sometimes our decisions are positive and help the citizens of Washington. Sometimes, the decisions made here hurt our citizens. Unfortunately, this budget will do just that – hurt the people, the families, the employers of Washington state.”
The 15th District lawmakers were especially concerned about tax increases assumed in the budget, which would solve 32 percent of the budget balancing, and represent the largest tax increase in state history. Proposals from majority Democrats have included, among other things:
- Increasing the hazardous substances tax, which would apply to gasoline, fertilizer and household cleaners;
- Increasing the state sales tax;
- Asking voters to impose a state income tax;
- Increasing the business and occupation tax for accountants, lawyers, consultants and market researchers; and
- Imposing a sales tax on candy, bottled water, cosmetic medical services, janitorial services, and custom software services.
“The way to raise revenue is to create jobs and position our state for economic growth,” Chandler said. “Taxes will only jeopardize current and future job opportunities. Proposals we brought forward to incent more private-sector job opportunities were rejected. I’m sorely disappointed at the many missed opportunities with this budget.”
“From Day 1 this budget has been all about raising taxes,” Taylor said. “If it wasn’t, this body would not have suspended the Taxpayer Protection Act. If it wasn’t, this budget wouldn’t be relying on $641 million in one-time federal money. And if it wasn’t, this budget wouldn’t be proposing a billion dollars in job-killing taxes.”
The budget now goes to the Senate for consideration. The 2010 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn March 11.
###Washington State House Republican Communications