Tax Day protesters’ message ignored in Olympia, says Kretz

As thousands gathered to object to the tax-and-spend policies in Olympia, majority party drops $1 billion bill on taxpayers

Sending a message that people are tired of pouring more tax dollars into the hands of unrestrained spenders in Olympia, more than 5,000 protesters converged on the state Capitol campus April 15. Ironically, the rally occurred the same day majority party members in the House introduced several measures to increase taxes. It’s a move Rep. Joel Kretz called “brazen.”

“I have a lot of respect for the hard-working folks who came to push back against efforts to burden families with new and higher taxes,” said Kretz, R-Wauconda. “What I don’t understand is how, when folks are losing their jobs and barely making it, anyone would consider asking people for more money. It’s a prime example of how out of touch some folks are in Olympia.”

Kretz added he would not support any measures to increase taxes.

“Our district has the distinction of having counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state – Ferry County has an unemployment rate of more than 17 percent!” Kretz said. “Where on earth are people who are out of work going to find more money to give the government?”

The House measures to increase taxes include:

  • House Bill 2377 would increase the state sales tax from 6.5 percent to 6.8 percent for three years. It’s expected this will extract an additional $1 billion from taxpayers. It also redistributes some of the tax money collected to low-income families under a state “working family tax credit” program approved last year.
  • House Bill 2354 would create a new tax on “intangible” property, such as stocks and bonds, interests in corporations, gold or other precious metals, mutual funds, money market funds and other personal investments. The tax would be levied as $1 for every $100 dollars of intangible property for every resident in Washington.
  • House Bill 2378 would increase the maximum school levy percentages to retroactively collect money above the current approved levy lids previously approved by voters.

“This list includes just a few ideas to dig further into taxpayer’s wallets,” Kretz said. “The people spoke and let us know they have had it with the big spenders in Olympia. The folks were clear yesterday – no new taxes. I think we should honor their requests.”

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For more information, contact: Bobbi Cussins, Public Information Officer: (360) 786-7252


Washington State House Republican Communications