Sen. Mike Hewitt responded with disappointment to the governor’s announcement that he is seeking $1.2 billion in new taxes, including making permanent taxes on beer and Washington’s service businesses that were set to expire at the end of June.
“Despite his campaign promise to the contrary, I think just about everyone in Olympia was expecting the governor to propose new taxes,” said Hewitt, GOP-Walla Walla. “Even so, I must say that I was taken aback by the – 1.2 billion dollars – and by the fact that almost every business and family in the state would be impacted by the taxes.”
The governor’s budget proposal relies on the new taxes to increase state spending by around 11 percent, with the total state budget growing to $34.4 billion in the upcoming 2013-15 budget cycle, which begins July 1. Every area of state spending would increase under the governor’s proposal with state employee compensation increases alone accounting for around $800 million.
“I question the need to hit so many businesses and families with new taxes but beyond that, I question the need to grow government at the rate the government proposed. There is a better way forward, and I’m looking forward to the contrasts that this proposal will draw with the Senate’s bipartisan coalition budget that will be released in the next week,” Hewitt said.
Hewitt pointed to $600 million in tax increases to state service businesses (such as doctors, architects and engineers) through the business and occupation tax as an example of a tax that would be particularly devastating to the state’s economy. Below is a full list of the tax increases proposed by Gov. Inslee.