Schoesler, R-Ritzville, is a co-winner of the award with Sen. Andy Hill of Redmond, the Senate majority’s budget chief. They helped lead the Legislature to adopt a new 2015-17 operating budget which is balanced without general tax increases that would have hit Main Street employers and family-level investors.
“Of all the budget proposals this year, the Senate majority’s budget was the only plan that did not include a 20 percent jump in the business-and-occupation tax paid by Realtors and tens of thousands of other small businesses across our state,” said Michael Schoonover, president of the Washington Association of Realtors. “Senator Schoesler and his majority colleagues also stood alone when it came to fully understanding the flaws in another proposed tax, which targeted income from real estate and other investments.
“Realtors and other small businesses are a significant source of employment and economic activity in Washington. For us, the unnecessary tax increases proposed by the governor’s office and the majority party in the House of Representatives would have been very discouraging,” Schoonover added. “Our organization does not routinely honor legislators – the Legislative Champion award is for those who go above and beyond, and the budget leadership we saw from the Senate majority went above and beyond what we had hoped for this year.”
“Our caucus was determined to keep state government living within its means – to avoid tax increases except as a last resort – and we succeeded. I appreciate that the Realtors understand, as we do, how stable tax rates are critical to ensuring that Washington’s economic recovery continues,” said Schoesler. “This award is more proof that our approach to governing is working for families and employers statewide.”