Dayton Chronicle - Your Hometown News Source

By Rep. Bill Jenkin

Olympia Update

The fight continues against policies that make your way of life more expensive


February 20, 2020

-Submitted photo

OLYMPIA–It's very telling that the first two major policy debates and bills passed by the majority party this session were tax increases.

Fighting against tax increases is one of my main priorities. And let me tell you, there definitely hasn't been a shortage of new tax bills that have already come forward.

It's disheartening for me to know when we're experiencing a time of increased state revenue, there's still a push to raise your taxes–again and again.

It's our obligation to make the most of every tax dollar collected and spent. This starts with accountability for the decisions we make.

The urgency to raise your taxes is extremely high. Hold on to your wallets. Life as you know it is going to continue to get more expensive.

We should all have the opportunity–whether in our personal family life or in seeing our businesses grow and prosper–to achieve our version of the American dream.

The governor and Legislature shouldn't get in the way of pursuing these dreams. Instead of supporting expensive policies, onerous regulations, and new tax increases that drive up our cost of living, we must work harder to make life more affordable.

Unfortunately, the majority party continues to introduce policy after policy that creates new tax increases. This has become the new normal in Olympia.

There are two tax increase bills that have already been rushed through the process this session.

First, we voted against the low-carbon fuel standard. This is a bill that you, as voters, have voted against and turned down more than once.

This regressive, costly fuel mandate would do little to help our environment or provide funding for our transportation system but would continue to raise the price of gasoline and diesel, along with the price of goods and services. There is no doubt this tax will put more financial burdens on those who can least afford it. The bill passed the House chambers by a vote of 52-44. There were a few Democrats who crossed party lines to vote against this tax. This bill now sits in the hands of the Senate, where it's fate and chances of moving forward are unknown.

The second bill we recently fought hard against was another B&O (business and occupation) tax increase. This tax will make life more unaffordable for Washington families and businesses.

It will make health care and home construction more expensive, compounding the largest problems facing our state–homelessness. We're working hard to find solutions to the housing and homelessness crisis in our state. Tax increases such as this are moving us backward rather than forward.

This is another example of our unaccountable government. This B&O tax is a bill that was rushed through the process in order to fix a problem created by a bill rushed through the process, and signed into law, last year.

This bill passed the House chambers by a vote of 52-45. There were five Democrats who recognized this wasn't good policy and joined us in voting against it. This tax increase has already been signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee, effective the minute his pen hit the paper.

By demanding accountability, increasing transparency, and respecting the will of the voters, we can begin to restore the trust broken under years of unaccountable, one-party rule.

I will continue to fight against policies like these that ultimately increase your cost of living on the backs of an unaccountable government.

If you have any concerns about any of these bills, or any policy before the Legislature, please contact my office at (360) 786-7836.

It is an honor to serve you.

Rep. Bill Jenkin, R-Prosser, serves the 16rh Legislative District.


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