Preventing new taxes on income

2019 legislative session • February 8, 2019 

The Current -- 2017 legislative session

Dear Friend: 

Week four of the legislative session is coming to a close. You can watch my weekly video recap here -- which is something new we are doing this year. This link will also give you an idea of what to expect in the House for next week -- including committee action.

Our continued defense of the self-employed

One of the roles of the minority party is to oppose things that we feel would harm the people and communities we represent. These tend to be the issues that define legislative sessions and provide the most contrast in terms of Republican and Democratic approaches. 

House Republicans' united defense of the self-employed and opposition to House Bill 1515 and House Bill 1601 is a great example of the contrast between Republican and Democratic approaches on small business issues. And this fight continues.

Below, you will find other efforts House Republicans are fighting against -- including the push to create new taxes on income and restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

Organize, activate and let your voices be heard

Legislative issues are coming into focus in many committees. Eventually the debates will reach the House and Senate floors. Every step along the way, please know that you can influence the legislative process. Your input is critical.

The hair designers and cosmetologists have provided the template this year for making a difference: organize, activate and let your voices be heard. While our media does a great job of covering the Legislature, they can only highlight so many issues. This requires you to create your own content and ways to get your messages out.  

Have a great weekend.


Rep. J.T. Wilcox
House Republican Leader
(360) 786-7912

Preventing new taxes on income

There are different efforts to establish new taxes on income in our state. Both roads could eventually lead to a new state income tax.

This, despite the fact that our tax collections are very strong and provide our state with enough money to pay for its priorities. Make no mistake: We have enough new state revenue. In fact, budget writers are entering the 2019-21 budget cycle with $4.2 billion in additional revenue compared to 2017-19. 

This website walks you through the two efforts to establish new taxes on income -- one taking place inside the Legislature and the other one primarily outside of the Legislature. 

A state capital gains income tax

House Democrats passed a state capital gains income tax out of the House Finance Committee last year. The idea seems to have even more momentum this year. 

Republicans call it an income tax because the IRS has told us that capital gains are treated as income under the tax code. Keep in mind, too, that every state that has a state capital gains income tax also has a state income tax.

Here are the companion bills to watch for now, although new proposals could emerge later:

A local income tax

The city of Seattle tried to establish a new income tax on high-income residents through a measure it passed in 2017. A King County Superior Court Judge ruled the measure was illegal. Seattle continues to challenge that ruling in our court system. 

As this article from 2017 highlights: “The proponents also said the measure would serve as a legal test case for taxing income in Washington, possibly opening the door to a fairer tax system statewide.” Therein lies the threat to taxpayers in our state.  

Our solution to this threat is House Bill 1588. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Brandon Vick, would prohibit the imposition of a local income tax. The concept is simple and clear. You can learn more in this news release from Wednesday.

Protecting Second Amendment rights

There continues to be a push in the Legislature to restrict gun rights in our state. That debate is heating up in the respective House and Senate committees that consider firearm-related legislation. 

We have created a website that tracks the firearm-related bills being considered in the House. It provides a contrast in approaches by Republicans and Democrats. We will keep this website updated throughout the legislative session.

Many House Republicans champion Second Amendment rights, including Rep. Morgan Irwin. He is our new assistant floor leader and ranking member on the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee.

If this issue is important to you, please get involved in the legislative process.

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