More taxes on employers, costs for consumers

2020 legislative session • February 7, 2020 

The Current -- 2017 legislative session

Dear Friend: 

It's day 26 of the 60-day session. As we head toward the midway point, the two signature pieces of legislation passed by House Democrats this year would increase the cost of living for Washingtonians and raise the cost of doing business for many employers.

Both measures were opposed by House Republicans. I discuss these issues in my weekly video update

Low-carbon fuel standard

Last week, House Democrats passed a low-carbon fuel standard that would increase the cost of gas, diesel and products in our state -- with little benefit to our air quality. While House Bill 1110 passed the House, it had bipartisan opposition.

According to this article, "multiple lawmakers said there doesn’t seem to be enough support to pass the measure out of the Senate." That's good news. But we can't take anything for granted. We must again stop this bill in the Senate -- like we did last year. 

More taxes on employers, costs for consumers   

This week, Democrats fast-tracked Senate Bill 6492 through the legislative process and it will be signed into law on Monday. The measure attempts to clean up the mess created by a bill they passed at the end of the 2019 legislative session.

The bill from last year created an entitlement for workforce education through a new B&O tax surcharge on businesses providing certain services. It was poorly written and difficult to administer. 

While the new legislation will bring the B&O tax rate for the smallest businesses back to where it was before the increase last year, it's still a major tax increase that will be felt by our economy. According to the Department of Revenue, the legislation will expand the tax increase to an estimated 4,000 new businesses. In total, an estimated 14,000 businesses that employ 886,000 people will see an increase.

This new change alone will collect around $234 million in additional taxes over a two-year period. Raising taxes on professions that are trying to address our state's challenges -- like health care and home building -- is counterproductive. We know these new costs will be passed along to consumers. 

At a time of record tax collections for our state, Democrats continue to ask for more. The financial attack on our taxpayers and employers must stop. And House Republicans are united in this belief. 


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

Rep. Richard DeBolt

DeBolt announces retirement

Rep. Richard DeBolt asked for a point of personal privilege on the House floor Thursday to announce he will not run for re-election. You can watch his speech here.

The 20th District lawmaker was first elected to office in 1996, and served as House Republican Leader from 2006 to 2013. Learn more about his time in the House in this radio release

Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber


One of our legislative priorities is safety

House Republican Floor Leader Jacquelin Maycumber appeared on TVW's Inside Olympia on Thursday. The former law enforcement officer discussed public safety, criminal justice, the death penalty, and her legislation to increase law enforcement, improve training and allow more officers in underserved communities. You can watch her interview here.  

Rep. J.T. Wilcox

Republican media avail

House and Senate Republican leaders met with reporters on Wednesday. The issues of taxes, $30 car tabs, affordable housing, Capitol Campus security, and gun rights were discussed. You can watch the media avail at this TVW link.  

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