Washington rejects tax cuts and stands out from most Democratic-majority states

By Brett Davis | The central square

(The Center Square) – Tax cuts are on the agenda for most of the 14 Democratic Trio states. These are states where the Democratic Party controls the state legislative chambers as well as the governor’s office.

Washington State is not one of those states.

“I reviewed the 2022 tax cut approach taken by the 14 Democratic states in the trifecta,” Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center wrote on his Olympia Watch Twitter page on Thursday. “WA stands out, and not in a good way. Here are some of the tax cut statements from these Democratic leaders…”

This was followed by a list of quotes from the governors of 11 of those Democratic trifecta states, including Washington Governor Jay Inslee, about the tax cuts.

For example, in September, Colorado Governor Jared Polis had this to say about a sales tax refund, as well as a temporary income tax cut triggered by the state’s rapid recovery from the COVID-19-induced economic downturn in 2020: “These tax cuts and refunds are a strong sign that Colorado’s economy is recovering. I’m thrilled the Coloradans are getting another income tax cut and refund that the Coloradans can use to bounce back from the pandemic, a night out, or the grocery store.

Earlier this month, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker released a statement on reaching a budget deal with the Democratic legislative leadership.

“Our plan provides more than $1.8 billion in tax relief to Illinois residents, adds $1 billion to our state’s long-depleted Rainy-Day Fund, and doubles our efforts to make investments without precedent in public safety,” he said.

Also earlier this month, New York Governor Kathy Hochul trumpeted a state budget that supports working families through tax cuts.

“This budget provides much-needed tax relief to thousands of small businesses and millions of New Yorkers and lowers the tax burden for those who need it most,” she said.

And then there’s Inslee at a press conference in December unveiling his project supplementary budget for Washington State: “The need for spending will continue. I believe that the things we have proposed respond responsibly to the crises we face. I’m not sure – in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of a mental health crisis, in the middle of a homelessness crisis – this is really the right time to make big tax cuts.

Republican lawmakers had asked Inslee for some kind of tax relief, usually centered on the state’s current sales tax rate or a reduction in property taxes, during this year’s legislative session that saw tax revenue existing should be much higher than expected.

The legislature ended up passing a $64.1 billion supplementary budget, about $5 billion more than the budget passed by lawmakers in April 2021. The budget, which contained no broad-based tax relief, was signed into law. by Inslee.

The governor’s office highlighted some ongoing tax relief efforts, as well as tax relief legislation passed this legislative session and signed by Inslee.

“Let us know if you have any questions about the new working family tax credit being developed that will provide up to $1,200 in tax relief to low-income households, legislation signed last month. last by the governor that the [National Federation of Independent Business] rented as helping to provide tax relief to 276,000 small businesses, or the tens of thousands of families who received an average of $6,379 in COVID-19 rental assistance over the past year,” Inslee press secretary Mike Faulk said in response to The Center Square asking for comment on the observation that Washington appears to be the odd one out.

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