Taxed enough?

Legislative update from Olympia

banner new background

Dear Neighbor,


This marks the final week of the regular 2019 legislative session. While we do not have final transportation, capital and operating budgets just yet, Senate Democrats have introduced major tax proposals that will put a burden on the citizens of our state. They include:

Senate Bill 5993 – Would essentially represent a $300 million tax every two years on the refinery industry. The tax would be $1.39 per barrel on refined petroleum products, essentially doubling the current rate. Revenues are proposed to be split between the operating, capital and storm-water budgets. Washington refineries currently pay nearly three times the state and local taxes that a comparable California refinery does, primarily due to business and occupation (B&0) and Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) taxes.

Senate Bill 5998 – Would alter the real estate excise tax (REET). Currently, there is a 1.28 percent tax rate on all sales. If this bill passes, that rate would change the percentage rates on sale to 1.1 percent rate $500,000 or below; 1.28 percent rate for greater than $500,000 to $1.5 million; 2.75 percent rate for greater than $1.5 million to $3 million; and 3 percent rate for over $3 million. Ironically, this gives individuals with expensive homes a tax break but penalizes owners of large apartment buildings and will ultimately result in higher rents for already struggling tenants.

Senate Bill 5997 – Would change the nonresident sales tax exemption to a remittance program. Refunds by nonresidents may only be requested for the preceding calendar year and must be for at least $25. This will harm our cities along the Columbia River that rely on shoppers from Oregon who currently don’t have to pay our state’s sales tax. 

As I have said before, the state is currently experiencing unprecedented revenue and job growth but the budgets currently being proposed rely heavily on new and increased taxes. We do not need to raise taxes and have more than enough revenue to fund public services such as public safety, education and mental health.


Bill highlights

Two bills I sponsored this session have made their way to the governor’s desk for his signature. The governor has 10 days to sign or veto these bills or they become law automatically. It is my hope that the governor will sign these bills soon. If signed…

Senate Bill 5670, introduced at the request of Snohomish County Fire District 7, will authorize fire protection districts to maintain and repair vehicles owned and used by a county, city, town or school district. This allows neighbors to help neighbors; that is what we do in the 39th Legislative District.  

Senate Bill 5763 was brought to me by a group of antique tractor-trailer and truck collectors in the district who participate in antique truck shows and events. This bill will allow them to qualify as a truck collector and be exempt from obtaining a commercial driver’s license if the truck is more than 30 years old and is used only occasionally to and from truck conventions, auto shows, parades and vehicle club meetings. These trucks are an important part of our history and deserve to be preserved.




Senate page: Grace DeVaney

Last week I had the privilege of sponsoring Grace DeVaney, an eighth-grader from Sedro Woolley for the Senate Page Program. Grace, along with other student pages, spent time in the Senate Chamber and attended page school to learn about parliamentary procedure and the legislative process. Students also draft their own bills and engage in a mock session.

Grace said her favorite thing about being a page was making deliveries and taking in the beautiful buildings at the Capitol. She also enjoyed participating in the mock debate where she was treated as a senator and got to vote on legislation.

April 26, 2019


Watch my latest video update!

In this legislative update, I talk about bad bills that have passed the legislature this session

Fun fact…

Each legislative update will highlight a fun fact about your 39th Legislative District State Senator!

Senator Keith Wagoner….

  • Studied Japanese language and culture at the Defense Language Institute, Montery, California..

Let's Be Social! 

Follow me on Facebook to stay updated on the latest news from Olympia

Contact information:


Phone: (360) 786-7676