Did somebody say "taxes"?

Legislative update from Olympia

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Dear Neighbor,

We are officially one-third of the way through the 2021 legislative session and have moved from mostly spending time in committee to spending a majority of the time on the floor voting on bills.

Many of my colleagues continue to work remotely; as Republican whip, I am in Olympia, working from my office in the Newhouse Building and from my desk on the Senate floor in the Legislative Building.

While the 2021 legislative session is vastly different, some things are still the same. In odd years, the legislature implements a two-year operating budget. Last week, the Senate Republican lead on the Ways and Means Committee, Lynda Wilson, shared our caucus’ operating budget proposal for 2021-23. I want to share some of those highlights with you but the most important takeaway from this budget is that it will not cut services and will not increase your taxes! When you hear the majority party say that we need to increase and implement new taxes to pass our state’s operating budget, it simply isn’t true; we just did it. Some of the highlights include:

  • Increases the transportation budget, by adding the sales tax revenue from vehicles to that fund
  • Puts $1 billion into schools with focus on re-opening
  • Eliminates the B&O tax on manufacturing
  • Reduces catastrophic wildfires by funding the Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Health Plan – which proposes treating 1.25 million acres in the coming years
  • Provides $200 million to the state broadband office to reduce inequities in rural and underserved populations
  • Reduces the tax burden for working families by providing up to $700/year for low-income families with 2 or more children
  • Adds body scanners to every state correctional facility providing a safer more rehabilitative environment for correctional officers and offenders alike.

To learn more, watch my video update below.

Please remember that I am here to serve you. Although we may not be able to meet face to face, I encourage you to reach out to my office and to share your thoughts, ideas and concerns on matters of importance to you. And please, if you don’t already, follow me on Facebook. My contact information can be found on the right sidebar. Now, more than ever, it is vital that you are connected with the decisions being made in Olympia. I look forward to hearing from you.






Republican operating budget proposal


Watch my latest video update where I share information on the Senate Republican operating budget proposal where we fully fund state services without raising YOUR taxes.


Did somebody say “taxes”?

You would think that after the year we’ve had, lawmakers in Olympia would be looking for ways to put money back into your pocket. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The majority party has offered tax proposals on just about everything. Here is what they include:

Capital gains. At the request of Governor Inslee, Senate Bill 5096 was introduced which would impose a 9% tax on the selling of long-term capital assets, or on receiving Washington capital gains beginning January 1, 2022. In fact, we have sufficient revenue, despite all the shutdowns, to fully fund government without any additional revenue and without cuts in services to those in need. (See Republican budget proposal above)

Cap-and-trade. One of the revenue options in the Senate 2021 transportation package offers cap-and-trade as an alternative to a carbon fee. Like a carbon fee, a cap-and-trade program would apply to everything that emits greenhouse gases above 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, not just transportation fuels.

Carbon fee. Another option under the Senate 2021 transportation package is a carbon fee: $20 per metric ton for the transportation sector only.

Gas tax. Early in the 2021 session, a transportation funding package proposed by House Democrats included an increase of 18 cents per gallon in the state’s fuel tax over the next two years (10 cents in first year and 8 cents in second year) After those two years, the gas tax would be indexed for inflation.

Wealth tax. There is also a wealth tax introduced in the House of Representatives that would apply a 1% tax to all Washington residents whose wealth exceeds $1 billion. But again, this is a non-uniform income tax and not allowed under our State Constitution.

I do not believe that any of these taxes are necessary; they will negatively impact our economic growth and by extension our citizens. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to look for common-sense solutions that won’t take money out of your pocket.

February 19, 2021



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Email: Keith.Wagoner@leg.wa.gov

Phone: 360-545-2820.


Auditor's Office Breach

We recently learned of a data breach within the State Auditor’s Office. Some of these data files contained personal information of Washington state residents who filed unemployment insurance claims in 2020. The compromised files may also include the personal information of other Washington residents who have not yet been identified but whose information could be in a state agency or local government files under review by the Auditor’s Office. If you think your information may have been compromised, please go to their website to learn more.