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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The House Democrats released their budget proposal on Friday. The budget relies on a HouseDemBudgetProposal2015whopping $1.5 billion in new and increased tax increases, including a capital gains (income) tax, increases for service businesses, and as usual, ending some tax incentives. Instead of living within the means provided by taxpayers that amounts to $3 billion more than the last budget, Democrats want to raise spending $10 billion in six years. The appetite for spending is alive and well in Olympia.

The public hearing on this budget is today. It's funny to watch these public hearings on the budget, because it is only special interests who have time to testify. One after another, they thank the Democrats for giving them what they asked, and yet they always want more. And yet I haven't heard from a single taxpayer that they don't feel like they're sending enough of their money to Olympia. These special interests use words like “cuts,” “overloaded” and “safety net” to make their case that we have a revenue problem.

2015 Budget & Taxes chartHowever, the fact remains our state is set to bring in $3 billion more in current revenues. The state can and should live within its means and not ask families to pay more.

Lawmakers need to hear from you, the taxpayers, on this proposal. I encourage you to share your thoughts about this budget and the taxes it relies on. You can read details of the budget here. Contact members of the House Appropriations Committee here.

The operating budget isn't the only major proposal that could impact how much money you send to Olympia, unfortunately. A gas tax proposal (read more here and here) was heard Thursday in the House Transportation Committee. Again, these hearings are packed with special interest groups supporting a transportation gas-tax package. Regular citizens are busy working to provide for their families. You can share your thoughts with members of the House Transportation Committee here.

I love how active and involved the 7th District is in their government. I'm doing everything I can to hold the line on taxes – but your voice makes a difference. Please take a couple minutes to share your thoughts with members of the House Appropriations and Transportation Committees. If you do, please forward to me at joel.kretz@leg.wa.gov so I can share your stories on the House floor if and when these tax increases come up for a vote by the full House.

It's an honor to serve you.


Joel Kretz

State Representative Joel Kretz, 7th Legislative District
335A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(564) 888-2361 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000