House Republicans propose major tax relief after state revenues forecasted to surge


While some residents, particularly in the rural areas of Washington struggle to make ends meet, state government is flush with money – and even more revenue is anticipated, according to a report released Wednesday in Olympia. House Republicans say it's time to give some of it back to Washington's taxpayers. John Sattgast reports.

 Radio Report Transcript

SATTGAST: Money, money, money, money, money — the state's got lots of it. And now it's getting even more.

LERCH: “The near-General Fund-State forecast changes: for the current biennium, an increase of $606 million; for next biennium, $536 million.”

SATTGAST: That's State Economist Steve Lerch who announced a surge in unexpected new revenue during the state's quarterly revenue forecast Wednesday. That surge? More than $1.1 billion. In total, the state now has a $2.4 billion budget surplus.

House Republican Budget Leader Representative Drew Stokesbary says it's time to give some of it back to Washington's taxpayers.

STOKESBARY: “Today, I introduced a bill, House Bill 2946, that would provide a billion dollars' worth of tax relief to Washington's hard-working families.”

Stokesbary says his bill, which was co-sponsored by all 40 Republicans in the House, would roll back car tab fees to $30 — just like the voter-approved initiative now tied up in the courts. The measure would also eliminate the sales tax on prepared food items sold at grocery stores, and on personal necessities, such as feminine hygiene products, breast pumps and diapers.

STOKESBARY: “And the great part about providing tax relief is it will benefit the hard-working people who do live in areas outside of the Puget Sound who might not have a high-paying tech job, but are still struggling to make ends meet.”

Majority Democrats have indicated they want to not only want to spend this new surplus, but raise taxes even more. As the Republican tax relief plan was unveiled, a new bill introduced Wednesday by a key House Democrat leader proposes to repeal the Boeing tax rate and boost business taxes on the aerospace industry — providing the state with even more — money, money, money, money.

John Sattgast, Olympia.

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