38th Legislative District Update: SPECIAL OPERATING BUDGET EDITION

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Washington’s Three Budgets

This past Monday, House Democrats rolled out the proposed operating, capital and transportation budgets, as well as a revenue plan. These budgets reflect our values and our vision for a future that puts people first.

The capital budget, sometimes called the construction budget, is how the state invests in buildings and other long-term assets. The transportation budget is how things like roads, ferries, and bridges are built and maintained, and it also funds our state patrol.  Finally, the operating budget is the largest of the three and pays for everything else, including behavioral health, education, social services and many other necessary services.

Operating Budget Highlights

We want to give you some of the highlights in the $52.6 billion 2019-2021 budget, but you can also take a look at the budget documents for more information.

  • Significant investments in continued efforts to fix the state behavioral health system, including expanding community behavioral health beds and services.
  • Investments in housing programs and services for permanent supportive housing, youth homelessness, and the Housing and Essential Needs Program.
  • Educational investments include fulfilling the promise to fund health care coverage for school employees, funding for special education, levy assistance for areas with low-property values, and student mental health and safety.
  • The Workforce Education Investment expands access to the Washington College Grant and career pathways programs, as well as apprenticeships. It also increases capacity for high-demand programs such as engineering and nursing.
  • Other investments include expanding the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program slots; eliminating the backlog in testing sexual assault kits; improving salmon habitat and protecting Orcas; increasing our wildfire response and addressing natural disasters; and expanding rural broadband.

Click the image below to watch a short video highlighting the "Putting People First" budget proposal.

2019 Putting People First budget video

Revenue Plan

To fund these needed investments, House Democrats are proposing an Extraordinary Profits Tax (EPT) and a Progressive Real Estate Excise Tax (REET).

  • The EPT would apply to the sale of stocks and bonds and other high valued assets where the profits are over $100,000 for a single filer or $200,000 for joint filers. This tax would not apply to retirement accounts, sales of single-family homes, sales of livestock, sales of agricultural and timber lands, or sales of certain qualifying small businesses. So who would pay this tax? Out of the 3.65 million tax filers in our state, fewer than 14,000 would pay this tax.
  • The progressive REET structure would result in about 80 percent of Washingtonians paying fewer taxes on the sale of their homes, while 18 percent would see no change and 2 percent would pay a higher rate. In other words, only those selling property valued over $1.5 million would see a tax increase.

You'll be receiving another newsletter from us soon focused on the other two budgets, capital and transportation. In the meantime, if you need more information, or have questions, concerns or feedback, please contact our offices.


38th LD signatures

Rep. Mike Sells                                            Rep. June Robinson