The two-year state operating budget unveiled Monday by state House Democrats is drawing sharp criticism from legislative Republicans. Washington House Republicans’ John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.
SATTGAST: The $53 billion dollar proposal is nearly a $9 billion dollar increase over current spending levels. That concerns House Republican Leader Representative J.T. Wilcox, who says this level of growth is not responsible nor sustainable.
WILCOX: “Too put it in a little more long-term perspective, since 2013, state spending would increase by almost $22 billion and 70 percent over those six or seven short years. So we are looking at record territory in terms of the growth of government and the demand for your tax dollars.”
SATTGAST: Representative Drew Stokesbary is the House Republican budget leader…
STOKESBARY: “House Democrats, despite a three-billion dollar budget surplus, are doubling down on their promise to raise taxes, even though it’s not necessary; even though it could set us up for an even harder recession in the years to come, they’ve chosen to double down on their promise to raise taxes, and have done so.”
SATTGAST: The Democratic budget proposal would rely on about $4 billion dollars in new taxes over four years, including a capital gains income tax, a graduated real estate excise tax and an increase of business taxes on certain services.
Republicans say the massive tax increases could accelerate a cooling state economy, and eventually take the state from a surplus to a deficit. The budget proposal is expected to come to the House floor for a vote by Friday. John Sattgast, Olympia.