Tax season in Olympia

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Tax season in Olympia


Dear Friends,

On Sunday, April 28 at 11:59 p.m., the 2019 legislative session came to an end. And not a moment too soon… for in the final days and hours, majority Democrats passed several measures that will increase costs for many Washington residents in the near future.

Operating budget.  House Bill 1109 is the new budget to cover most state-government operating costs for 2019-21. It will spend over $52 billion in the next two years, and is balanced with $800 million in new taxes. This budget was passed by the Legislature largely along party lines. Although the new budget boosts spending on K-12, higher education and mental health, I believe we could have accomplished that without imposing dramatic tax increases on the citizens of our state.  See the graphic below for more details on the 2019 session tax increases.

Also included in the operating budget is $750,000 earmarked for an unnecessary study of the potential breaching or removal of the lower Snake River dams. I say “unnecessary” because action against the Snake River dams will not help with the recovery of “southern resident” orcas in Puget Sound. Additionally, this isn’t even a decision the state can make -- only Congress can decide to breach these federal dams. This study is a waste of taxpayer money.


2019 Session Taxes Increases


Capital budget highlights

More positively, the Legislature passed a bipartisan state capital budget this session that supports many projects in the 8th Legislative District. They include:


2019-21 Early Learning Facilities

  • Richland School District


2019-21 Youth Recreational Facilities Grant Program

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties

$1.088 million

2020 Local and Community Projects

  • Ki-Be School Parking Lot Improvements (Benton City)


  • Pet Overpopulation Prevention Vet Clinic Building (West Richland)


2019-21 STEM Grants #

  • LIGO STEM Exploration Center (Richland)

$7.7 million

Skills Centers Minor Works #

  • Tri-Tech Skills Center - Minor Works

$1.041 million

2019-21 Washington State University


Minor Capital Preservation (MCR):

  • MCR Infrastr-General Campus-Tri-Cities-Construct Sidewalk


Minor Capital Program (MCI&Omn Eqp):

  • Academic Research-Franceschi Microscopy and Imaging Center Remodel


  • WSU Tri-Cities - Academic Building

$27 million

As always, I value hearing directly from you. I am here to be your voice, and your feedback on bills before the Senate is very important to me. If you would like to contact me please write, phone, or email my office.



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Sharon Brown
State Senator
8th District



May 3, 2019



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Office Phone:







202 Newhouse Building
P.O. Box 40408
Olympia, WA 98504-0408