Today’s robust revenue forecast should leave no doubt it is time to table all talk of tax increases by lawmakers. Instead attention should turn to the previously forbidden words in Olympia – tax cuts. Consider the following from the February revenue forecast:
- “GF-S revenue for the 2017-19 biennium has been increased by $647 million, and revenue for the 2019-21 biennium has been increased by $671 million.”
- “Forecasted revenue for the 2017-19 biennium is now $44.213 billion, 15.4% more than that of the 2015-17 biennium. Forecasted GF-S revenue for the 2019-21 biennium is now $48.253 billion, 9.1% higher than expected 2017- 19 biennial revenue.”
- “The initial forecast of GF-S revenue for the 2021-23 biennium is $51.932 billion, an increase of 7.6% over that of the 2019-21 biennium.”
Discussing today’s huge increase in money being provided by taxpayers, Sen. John Braun (member of Revenue Forecast Council) said in a press release:
“More than $2 billion in additional resources means we can eliminate this year’s property tax increase without cutting programs or raising taxes. Most importantly, we can do this while protecting and enhancing the historic education investments we made last year. While more than 70 percent of the state will see a property tax decrease beginning in 2019, we have a clear opportunity to address this issue now.”
Later today the Senate Ways & Means will hold a public hearing on a massive carbon tax. Tomorrow the House will hold a public hearing on a capital gains income tax. With the massive new revenue already being provided by taxpayers, when will the public hearing be held on tax cuts?
Jason Mercier is the Director of the Center for Government Reform at Washington Policy Center and is based in the Tri-Cities. He serves on the boards of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and Candidate Verification, and was an advisor to the 2002 Washington State Tax Structure Committee. Jason is an ex-officio for the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce.