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Washington State's Gimmick Budget


Posted by Will Upton on Thursday, February 23rd, 2012, 3:33 PM PERMALINK


Democrats in Washington State’s House of Representatives have unveiled their budget proposal – HB 2127 – which they claim closes a $1 billion budget shortfall without raising taxes or borrowing money.  In reality, the budget does raise taxes, and relies on accounting gimmicks to solve their $1 billion spending problem.  

The budget proposal, along with SB 2728, would allow counties in Washington State to add a 6-perent utility tax that in many instances would wind up on taxpayers’ cell phone bills.  Washington State already has the 2nd highest national tax burden on wireless, with a combined state and federal rate of 23-percent.  An added 6-percent utility tax would impact the 6 million wireless subscribers in the Evergreen State – it should also be noted that over a quarter of households in Washington are wireless only.  

In addition to opening the gates to burdensome county-level taxes, the Democrats’ budget defers certain payments to education until the next two-year budget cycle, kicking the can down the road and dodging the growing need to address the state’s out-of-control spending problems in an election year.  

What the House Democrats have proposes is not a budget, but a rather a placebo, getting them out of having to make tough decisions in an election year and setting them up to pass what will probably be a massive tax increase in the next budget cycle.  

What do you think? Are Washington State Democrats kicking the can down the road?

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