Fighting for an Affordable Washington

Democrat overregulation continues to increase the cost of everything, including home prices, rent, food, energy, and gasoline. Washington has become unaffordable for many. At the same time, the state is seeing record revenue from the taxes and fees it collects. Yet, Democrats still refuse to provide meaningful tax relief or to reform burdensome regulations. Republicans will fight for a more affordable Washington.

HOUSING

The unnecessarily complicated permitting process to build a home not only makes building a home take longer, it makes it more expensive. Home prices have skyrocketed, as have rents. Renters struggle to become first-time home buyers, and many have given up the dream of owning a home altogether.

We must remove regulations that are making it nearly impossible for some to buy their first house. We must lower the costs that are driving people into living on the street. And we must find ways to provide a true leg up so people can afford to live indoors, heat their homes, feed their families and ensure their children are safe while parents are at work.

FUEL

The Democrats’ so-called “Climate Commitment Act” is an expensive package of policies that will not reach the goals outlined for it. But it will continue to take larger and larger bites out of families’ budgets through a “hidden gas tax” raking in billions of dollars from hardworking taxpayers. And, if people aren’t paying at the pump, they’re paying at the grocery store or clothing store because higher fuel costs translate into higher costs for goods that must be produced and shipped in from around the world.

Add on the insatiable need the majority has to shut down the dams along the Snake River, ban natural gas and resist developments in nuclear power. You get a recipe for economic disaster and power shortages.

Quotable

Declines in affordability come in spite of the rapid growth in state spending — or because of it.

Sen. Lynda Wilson

Senate Republican budget lead, 17th LD

Home Prices

Homeownership is out of reach for many Washingtonians. The answer is to make it easier and less expensive to build more housing — meet demand. Give property owners incentives to rent to families with lower incomes. Don’t penalize owners of multi-family housing. Help renters become owners. Homeownership is the key to generational wealth. Democrat policies undermine that. 

Natural Gas

Banning natural gas is a bad idea. Converting the average home from natural gas to all-electric will cost the average homeowner more than $52,000. Natural gas is clean energy. European nations reaffirmed the role of natural gas in their energy portfolio. And Washington needs to maintain energy diversity. When the power goes out, natural gas keeps many people warm. Over-dependence on the grid can have fatal consequences.

Property Taxes

Higher property taxes not only increase the cost of homeownership. They also cause rents to go up. This is wrong-headed during a housing crisis. You can’t make homes more affordable by making them more expensive. However, if a community wants to increase property taxes to pay for additional services, they can do so up to 1% per year without voter approval. This year. Democrat tried to triple that cap to 3% per year WITHOUT voter approval. They call it giving government “flexibility.” We call it feeding government greed. 

2024 Senate Republican Bills to Fight for an Affordable Washington

  • I 2109:  Rolls back capital gains tax
  • I 2111:  Bans an income tax
  • I 2117:  Repeals the Climate Commitment Act
  • I 2124:  Allows people to opt out of long-term care payroll tax
  • SB 5013: Provides tax relief to wineries (Warnick)
  • SB 5129:  Plans for advanced nuclear reactor technology in Washington (MacEwen)
  • SB 5359:  Establishes a state spending limit (L. Wilson)
  • SB 5387: Creates a homestead property tax exemption and renters’ credit (L. Wilson)
  • SB 5609:  Establishes housing approval requirements to eliminate Washington’s housing shortage (Braun)
  • SB 5657:  Exempts certain kit homes from some state building code statutes (J. Wilson)
  • SB 5748:  Exempts meals furnished to tenants of senior living communities from sales tax (Muzzall)
  • SB 5792:  Redefines “multiunit residential buildings” (Padden)
  • SB 5814:  Provides easier access to medication for metastatic cancer (Muzzall)
  • SB 5826:  Requires customer charges to be listed on utility billing statements if the charges are a result of implementing the Climate Commitment Act (MacEwen)
  • SB 5875:  Balances energy efficiency with consideration of other factors, such as housing affordability, development costs and feasibility in the state energy code (Fortunato)
  • SB 5914:  Expands the activities in which public defenders may engage (Torres)
  • SB 5915:  Extends an existing hazardous substance tax exemption for certain agricultural crop protection products (Torres)
  • SB 6028: Waives interest on assessment from accidental overpayments made by ESD (Braun)
  • SB 6029:  Makes it easier to build detached accessory dwelling units outside urban growth areas (Braun)
  • SB 6030:  Gives tax exemptions as incentives for property owners to rent to low-income households (Braun)
  • SB 6034:  Ensures mandatory recording fees are not subject to the Business & Occupations tax or sales tax (Schoesler)
  • SB 6047:  Improves the transparency of executive sessions held by publicly owned natural gas utilities (Warnick)
  • SB 6057:  Expands the class of crimes involving human trafficking or sexual exploitation (Torres)
  • SB 6215:  Makes administrative and technical changes to the state tax and licensing codes (Schoesler)
  • SB 6233:  Makes substantive amendments to improve the state energy code for nonresidential buildings (L. Wilson) 82-4
  • SB 6238:  Updates thresholds for the property tax exemption for widows and widowers of honorably discharged veterans (Dozier)
  • SB 6240:  Expands tax preferences for jet fuel (Warnick)
  • SB 6260:  Limits the application of certain civil penalties to protect landowners from the actions of their lessees (Warnick)
  • SB 6291:  Establishes criteria for statewide amendments to the state building code council (L. Wilson)
  • SJR 8204: Amends the state Constitution to authorize the creation of a homestead exemption for state property taxes and a renters’ credit (L. Wilson)