Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2018 legislative session is officially underway. The tone has been set, and unfortunately, it isn't quite how we were hoping it would start.
The news surrounding the Democrats plans to push hard for new taxes dominated the first week. On day one, Senate Democrats voted to reverse the two-thirds requirement to pass any tax bills. It took them less than a full day to deny the will of the people. On top of that, here is a list of the other taxes they're trying to impose.
|Push for New Taxes by Majority Party||Potential Impact||Rep. Young's Take|
|Eliminated 2/3 voting rule to raise taxes||Now, only a simple majority is needed to raise our taxes!||Fiscal responsibility requires working together. This is the wrong way to go.|
|Proposed capital gains tax||Starting point for statewide income tax||No. Washington cannot afford this tax.|
|Proposed carbon tax||Will increase costs for gas, energy and natural gas and immediately raise gas prices by at least $ .20 per gallon.||This hurts working-class commuters and makes it harder for those on fixed and low-incomes to heat their homes.|
|Proposed a Vehicle miles travelled (VMT) fee||Would implement a road usage charge (RUC) on every driver and vehicle.||This is a re-branded effort to add a new transportation tax AND track where you drive! Absolutely NO.|
|Proposed Sound Transit 3 (ST3) expansion.||Would expand these higher license renewal taxes to our district. An average of $300 to $400 extra tax per tab.||The new majority in the Senate is attempting to expand ST3 taxing authority to all counties in western Washington. I will fight this!|
Our district has always made it perfectly clear – you want your state Legislature to be fiscally responsible with your tax dollars. That's exactly what I plan to do. At the same time, our district has always had a kind heart when it comes to allocating resources for those in need. Over the past few session, that's exactly what we Republicans have done while maintaining a co-majority with the Democrats. And as a result, we have had immense economic growth throughout the Puget Sound region, without raising your taxes. What's more, we now have about a billion dollars more in projected revenue coming into the state. That's fiscal responsibility at it's best.
It's unfortunate that, rather than living within our means, and budgeting appropriately with the projected one billion dollars in new revenue, the majority party wants you to open your wallets even further and pay new, unnecessary taxes. On top of this action, Gov. Inslee, during his state of the state address, stated he was proud to lead this charge. I think there's a better way. I will work tirelessly to keep my promise to you and remain fiscally prudent. When we truly work together, we can increase our state revenues without raising your taxes.
Championing the toll efforts on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge
In keeping up with the work we began in 2016, and again in 2017, the tolls on our bridge have not gone up. Working together has produced real results we should all be proud of.
In 2016, we outright stopped any toll increases. In 2017, in a bipartisan effort alongside Democratic Rep. Christine Kilduff, of University Place, we successfully led the charge to amend the transportation budget to stop the tolls from rising on the bridge until 2020, by creating an $80 million tax break to the working-class commuters in our district.
In continuing our work, I am happy to report that during the first week of session, we created a work-study involving all the local community leaders, chambers of commerce, private industry, and the public sector with all layers of government, to further figure out how to keep the tolls at bay on our bridge.
This is the first time for a transportation study such as this. The study is now complete, and we will bring the findings from this study to the Legislature. With a solid proposal, based off the initial estimates of the study, we should be able to guarantee the tolls will not rise until 2023. This will be the catalyst for the state to bring in state resources to start paying down some of the debt on the bridge.
Again, no one has ever done this before, and I'm proud to champion this 'out-of-the-box' effort. I will continue working hard in a true bipartisan manner to make sure we've got everything ready to go for inclusion in this year's supplemental transportation budget.
It is a true privilege to work for you. I am proud to be keeping my promise to you by ensuring no further increased tolls on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Stay tuned for things to come:
- Progress on my 'Little Toasters Act'
- Net Neutrality and where we go from here
- Three sponsored bills of importance:
- House Bill 2273 – Concerning the Medicaid fraud control unit. “I am fighting fraud and price gouging that leads to less service for our seniors.”
- House Bill 2277 – Concerning consumer reporting agency security freezes “Fighting the man; ant-corporation.”
- House Bill 2296 – Protecting consumers from excess charges for prescription medications. “I am fighting to keep our seniors medications affordable.”
I appreciate you taking the time to read this email update. Please contact my office with your questions, concerns and comments. I look forward to working together.