OLYMPIA…Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler issued the following statement in response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s veto today of legislation that would have led to a flat business-tax rate for manufacturers across Washington.
“The governor’s decision is extremely disappointing, and so is his suggestion that no one from his office was aware of what Senate and House budget negotiators had decided. Members of his team were not just in the room, they were involved in bringing the agreement together. For whatever reason, he doesn’t want to acknowledge what really led him to go against working families across the state, and the many family-run manufacturing businesses in Washington, as well as Boeing.
“Our state needs a strong private sector to support the important services and programs that come from the public sector. Yet the manufacturing sector has continued to decline, especially in rural Washington, even though other sectors of the economy are experiencing a boom in certain parts of the state.
“Late in the legislative session we saw an opportunity to help preserve jobs and encourage job growth by extending the aerospace-only tax rate to all of manufacturing. When the bill came forward, Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature agreed by an overwhelming degree. It makes you wonder what kind of pressure could have led the governor to come out today against a policy that was supported by a budget he praised just a week ago.
“Earlier today one of the major private-sector employers in Pullman had encouraged the governor to support this move toward a flat tax rate, and I was looking forward to telling small manufacturers in Clarkston and elsewhere in the 9th District and our state that their B&O tax is now the same as Boeing’s. This tax change had things moving in a positive direction, and now the governor has derailed it, apparently without good reason.”