OLYMPIA…Sen. Mark Schoesler says it’s ‘unconscionable’ that the Senate’s new Democrat majority is keeping Gov. Jay Inslee’s $1.2 billion energy tax alive a week after lawmakers learned that state revenues are coming in more than $2.4 billion ahead of expectations. He offered this statement after a majority of the Senate Ways and Means Committee pushed another new version of Senate Bill 6203 ahead late Thursday afternoon.
“There is no reason for a tax increase of any kind when the state treasury is already set to take in billions more than expected, due to economic growth. The fact that the energy tax is still moving is pure politics at work – the powerful special interests don’t care about the positive revenue projections, they want the tax for the sake of having the tax. It’s no wonder the supporters keep shifting the shape of the tax to keep it alive. But rewriting the bill again and again can’t hide the fact that hardworking Washington taxpayers will pick up the tab. They will face higher home heating and cooling costs and an immediate 10.6-cent hit for a gallon of gas, and more, all while so many others have been declared exempt from the tax.
“My Democrat colleagues are pushing one of the most regressive taxes possible just so our state can, as the bill’s prime sponsor put it, ‘join a global trend.’ This is a trend that the middle-income families and family-based employers of our state can’t afford to follow.”