2023 legislative session •
In the 2023 legislative session, budget writers will likely have a surplus of approximately $4 billion to work with as they craft the operating budget. State lawmakers have enough revenue to provide meaningful tax relief to Washingtonians facing high inflation. In this video, our budget lead, Rep. Drew Stokesbary, explains House Republican priorities and why tax relief is long overdue.
The bad news: According to a recent interview with Democratic Majority Leader Joe Fitzgibbon, House Democrats have no interest in broad-based tax relief. Instead, they recently held a news conference to push for a so-called wealth tax.
Real solutions for broad-based tax relief
House Republicans have introduced two broad-based tax relief proposals. First, House Bill 1483. The measure, sponsored by our finance lead Rep. Ed Orcutt, would provide property tax relief. He discusses the proposal in this video.
Second, Ed has also put forward legislation that would reduce the state sales and use tax rate. He highlighted House Bill 1704 in this short video. Ed summarizes it well in this line: The state has been profiting while our consumers have been suffering.
That’s not all, however. Rep. Peter Abbarno has again introduced a bill to repeal the deeply unpopular state long-term care program and its payroll tax. House Bill 1011 will not receive a public hearing, despite nearly 63% of voters saying the program should be repealed in Advisory Vote No. 20 in 2019.
Defending advisory votes
It’s also disappointing to see a partisan effort from Democrats to abolish advisory votes, which were approved by voters and allow you to weigh in on tax increases passed by the Legislature. House Bill 1158 is one of many bad bills House Republicans are tracking and opposing this legislative session. You can comment on this legislation here.
Expanding the Working Families Tax Credit
Finally, Rep. Drew Stokesbary is advocating for a measure that would expand the Working Families Tax Credit — a program that provides sales tax rebates. House Bill 1000 received a public hearing on Tuesday. You can watch Drew’s remarks here.
The Working Families Tax Credit launched on Wednesday. Drew has received a lot of coverage this week — not only for his legislation this year but for his leadership on a bill back in 2021. Please visit this Department of Revenue webpage to learn more about the program, including eligibility requirements.
Are House Republicans suggesting all of these proposals mentioned above should pass and be enacted? No. But we’re putting real solutions on the table to help make life more affordable.
In closing, you can find our “Week Ahead” publication at this link. We have also updated our good bill/bad bill list on this webpage. Both links can be found in the “A Closer Look” section of The Ledger.
Rep. J.T. Wilcox
House Republican Leader