In Washington State, Tax Hikes Are Not the Solution
State Senators in Washington State are looking to hike taxes on farmers and small businesses in an effort to close the $5.3 billion budget gap created by the state’s spending addiction.
Three bills are being circulated in the State Senate that would increase taxes by $350 million. Such an increase on a declining agricultural sector could stifle any economic progress that might be made.
Currently Washington State has a projected unemployment rate of 9.2%, that’s 320,400 residents without work. Washington is tied with Alabama and Colorado, ranking 33rd out of the 50 states in the number employed – raising taxes will not help them improve upon this number.
This is not a revenue problem, as many politicians in the state seem to think, it is a spending problem. Had Washington State lived within its means and kept spending in line with population and inflation over the last decade, the state would have spent $26.7 billion less than it actually did for that duration – money that could have been put in a rainy day fund or, ideally, returned to taxpayers.
Taxpayers in the Evergreen State, and taxpayers across the nation for that matter, need to remind their state legislators that raising taxes doesn’t solve their state’s economic problems. Only reductions in taxation and spending will encourage economic growth and prosperity.
To read ATR’s letter to the Washington State Senate click here.