Fact Check: Would repealing the capital gains tax jeopardize funding for our public schools? NO.

Hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians have joined together to stop the extreme taxation coming from Olympia. Unfortunately, initiative opponents are resorting to scare tactics, claiming that a vote to repeal the capital gains tax is a vote to roll back critical investments in our schools. Do not be fooled.

House Republicans have a budget plan that would repeal the capital gains tax while continuing to fully fund every single program funded by the tax. And we would still leave $3.6 billion for new programs in 2023-25. The fact is, Olympia politicians have a spending problem, not a revenue one. It’s time to repeal job killing taxes that threaten our state’s economy. It’s time to Fix Washington.

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Fact Check: Will the elimination of Climate Commitment Act funds harm our environment? NO.

FACT: CCA funds are awarded without requiring measurement of emissions reduction or environmental improvement. The vast majority of CCA-funded programs and projects do not require data collection or reporting on emission reductions or environmental benefit.

  • Grants for public transit agencies do not require any reporting about whether transit ridership increases over levels that existed prior to enactment of the CCA.
  • Grants for rooftop solar at schools, community centers, and public buildings are being awarded without any reporting on whether the solar panels are displacing electricity generated from emissions-free energy sources like hydroelectric, wind, and solar or from fossil-fuel sources.
  • Grants for electric vehicle charging stations will be awarded without requiring any reporting on the number of vehicles that will be charged by those stations or the fuel mix of the electricity that serves those charging units.

FACT: Commitments to overburdened communities are not being kept. The CCA included a promise that 40 percent of funding would be directed to “overburdened communities,” but advocacy groups representing these communities say this is not the case — the CCA is falling well short of its commitments to vulnerable populations. To make matters worse, overburdened communities have not been mapped or identified definitively across state agencies, further complicating efforts to validate any claims that these communities are being served.

FACT: The CCA grows the size of government. As of December 2023, the CCA has grown state bureaucracy, funding 256 full-time staff to work on program administration and write regulations, not including additional staff that will be added from the 2024 supplemental operating, capital, and transportation budgets.

Fact Check: Will repealing the Climate Commitment Act endanger funds for our roads and bridges? NO.

FACT: The law itself prohibits cap-and-trade funds from being used for highway projects like roads and bridges. The Climate Commitment Act explicitly states: “Expenditures from the account may only be made for transportation carbon emission reducing purposes and may not be made for highway purposes authorized under the 18th Amendment of the Washington state Constitution…” The 18th Amendment governs “state revenue intended to be used for highway purposes” and places that revenue in a special fund to be used solely for transportation projects.

The electrification of ferries is authorized in the CCA, yet the vast majority of the cost of ferries is covered by non-CCA funds.

Fact Check: Do a majority of Washingtonians want the state to tax and save for their long-term care? NO.

FACT: Voters have spoken, rejecting this program nearly 2 to 1. In the November 2019 general election, 63 percent of voters rejected the long-term care program and payroll tax, voting to repeal House Bill 1087 that created the program in Advisory Vote No. 20.

FACT: Hundreds of thousands of workers went to great lengths to get out of this program, while many more were too late. More than 475,000 Washington workers opted out of the program by purchasing private long-term care insurance plans by Nov. 1, 2021, and submitting an application for exemption by Dec. 31, 2022. Many other workers missed the opt-out window or couldn’t purchase plans because the flood of inquiries for private insurance to obtain the exemption was more than carriers were able to accommodate.

FACT: The people of Washington have spoken again through this initiative process. According to the Secretary of State, 427,481 Washingtonians signed petitions to place I-2124 on the ballot — more than 100,000 signatures over and above the 324,516 required to qualify this initiative to the Legislature.

FACT: Bottom line, this is more money out of Washingtonians’ pockets. Since the payroll tax went into effect last year, the state has collected $679 million in premiums for WA Cares. Based on current projections, that number is expected to grow to $886 million in 2024 and $919 million in 2025.

Learn more and calculate your weekly, monthly and annual payroll tax: The Democrats’ unfair and unpopular long-term care insurance program and payroll tax

  1. The NGF-O accounts include the State General Fund, Education Legacy Trust Account, Opportunity Pathways Account, and Workforce Education Investment Account. The NGF-O accounts receive general state tax revenue and are the state’s “flexible” spending accounts.
  2. Funding in WRPTA was originally set aside for COVID-response activities and is currently unobligated.
  3. Includes a transfer from the GFS to the Budget Stabilization Account, transfers unspent funds from the Electric Vehicle Incentive Account to the GFS, backfills declining cannabis tax revenue, assumes previously enacted fund transfers, makes other technical adjustments.
  4. All proposed savings items were included in the House Democrat 2024 Supplemental Operating Budget Proposal (PSHB 2104).
  5. Includes technical adjustments for cannabis and liquor tax revenue and savings from enhanced federal matching funds related to COVID.
  6. Based on DOR fiscal estimates assuming the capital gains tax is repealed at the November 2024 election.