Sheldon worries governor’s budget relies too much on new taxes

 35th District lawmaker doesn’t think rural communities can afford them

Today the governor released his proposed budget for the 2013-15 biennium, which included an additional $1.4 billion in new taxes over the next two years.

“Our local communities are just starting to come out of the recession, and simply put, we can’t afford these new taxes,” said Sheldon, D-Potlatch. “Seattle and the Puget Sound area seem to be doing better, but other parts of the state are struggling to make ends meet. These new taxes send the wrong message to the unemployed or underemployed families in my district.”

Sheldon was also concerned the governor’s budget was in direct response to the recent Supreme Court decision overturning the requirement of a two-third-vote by legislators to increase taxes.

“It did not take Governor Inslee long to take the court’s decision to heart,” Sheldon said. “With the two-thirds requirement gone, he must think it is time to roll out this program, especially since the governor vowed to avoid tax increases as a candidate for the office not even six months ago.”

Below is a list of 12 tax increases proposed by the governor for the 2013-15 biennium, which Sheldon referred to as the governor’s “Dirty Dozen”:

The “Dirty Dozen” tax increases:

  1. Tax increase on recycled fuel environmental programs at Washington’s oil refineries – $40.8 million
  2. Tax increase on new car purchases – $94 million
  3. Tax increase on bottled water –  $51 million
  4. Business and occupation tax increase on most state businesses –  $94 million
  5. Making temporary taxes set to expire on service-industry businesses permanent – $534 million
  6. Tax increase on prescription drugs – $29 million
  7. Tax increase on computer software – $78 million
  8. Tax increase on telephone services – $83 million
  9. Tax increase on import commerce – $24 million
  10. Making temporary taxes set to expire on beer permanent, and extending the tax to the state’s microbreweries (which were originally exempt) – $127 million
  11. Extending state sales tax to non-residents of Washington state – $63 million
  12. Tax increase on farm vehicles – $5 million