Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It's that time of year again. I'm not referring to the snowfall, or the fact that March is right around the corner. In Olympia, it has practically become an annual tradition for the majority party to introduce a new proposal to tax income.
No means “No” | Another capital gains income tax proposal
Yet again, more attempts are being made to impose a capital gains tax on the citizens of Washington. This week, the House supplemental operating budget will be voted on. Through an amendment to the budget, House Democrats are trying to add a 7 percent capital gains tax. They have also proposed another capital gains proposal with House Bill 2967.
How will I be voting? Just say, NO!
Democrats are attempting to disguise their proposal by calling it an “excise” tax. This is a funny play on words, and one that is wholly inaccurate. Excise taxes are paid on items of consumption, goods and services, not on income.
In fact, all federal and state revenue departments describe capital gains as income. The IRS form 1040, under the section titled “income” includes line 13, which requires income from capital gains to be listed when determining total income.
Income tax proposals have appeared on the ballot ten straight times and each time voters have said “no.” With our economy just beginning to make strides forward, a capital gains tax could slow down growth.
In order for the capital gains tax proposal to advance, Democrats who hold a narrow majority in the House, will need to pass the measure on the House floor. I will continue to do all I can to stand against it.
With all this revenue coming in, why are lawmakers asking for more?
A few days ago, the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council reported the General Fund-State (GF-S) has increased by $647 million for the 2017-19 budget cycle and by $671 million for the 2019-21 budget cycle.
There are several reasons for the increase including the booming economy. We also got a financial boost with the new federal tax law that allows people to keep more of their hard-earned money. The majority of that money will be invested back into our state's economy as consumers purchase more goods and services.
With this new revenue money coming in, many people are wondering why some lawmakers are asking for more. I'm wondering why too. Instead of asking for more, shouldn't lawmakers be looking for ways to return some of that money back to people's pockets?
I believe we should be returning money back to the taxpayers, since it's theirs in the first place, and these funds should be used to help offset property taxes.
My business and occupation (B&O) tax filing relief bill
I'm glad to report my proposal to change the current exemption threshold for B&O tax filing was approved by the House last week. The measure would reduce the amount of annual gross income a business needs to report to the Washington Department of Revenue.
This change will help reduce many of the financial burdens on small companies and allow them to keep more of their money. They can then reinvest those dollars back into their business, which strengthens our small businesses and economy.
House Bill 2350 had a hearing in the Senate on Saturday, Feb. 24 and awaits a vote in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
My bill to help stop sex-trafficking approved by the House
There are several legitimate massage-related businesses in our state. However, some illicit businesses use these types of businesses as fronts for commercial sex operations. Evidence suggests these fake businesses victimize thousands of women and men.
We need to take steps to close the curtain on these illegal activities. One way is to require proof they are indeed licensed and are the actual license holder registered with the Secretary of State or Department of Health.
My bill would require massage therapists to clearly display their license certificate and have a state-issued photo ID/license available where they are practicing to verify proper licensing. House Bill 2291 was recently approved by the House and passed out of the Senate Committee on Health and Long Term Care. Next, the bill moves to the Senate Rules Committee to be considered for a floor vote.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns about a specific piece of legislation or state government, please feel free to contact me. My door is always open and I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you in Olympia!