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With Billions in New Revenue and Aid Coming to Washington, Herrera Beutler Calls on Inslee to Oppose New Taxes while Southwest Washington Small Businesses and Families Recover from Pandemic

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) today sent a letter to Governor Jay Inslee requesting his commitment in providing certainty that Southwest Washington taxpayers will not face new or higher taxes.

In the letter, Herrera Beutler shares her concern over several tax increases proposed in the 2021 state legislative session, including the advancement of the first-ever state income tax that would be particularly harmful to Southwest Washington’s economy.

The full text of the letter follows, and a PDF is available here.

Dear Governor Inslee,

I write requesting your commitment to protecting the taxpayers of Southwest Washington. Given the incredible hardship that working families, seniors, and small businesses are facing in the wake of COVID-19; the estimated $7.1 billion in federal aid that President Biden is poised to send to Washington state (in addition to the $2.95 billion that Washington has received from previous COVID-related packages); and the now forecasted additional $3.2 billion in state revenues; I ask you to join me in providing certainty to our shared constituents that they will not face new or higher taxes during this challenging time.

I recognize that making such a commitment would mean reversing course from where Olympia is heading right now. In the 2021 legislative session, the state legislature is currently advancing a first-ever state income tax, and leaders have proposed an array of additional tax increases. Such an agenda conflicts sharply with the economic reality of small businesses operating under closures and restrictions for a full year, families who are scrambling to arrange and afford child care in the face of school closures, and individuals who are absorbing other costs from an unprecedented year of pandemic survival.

And new taxes are more than just a short-term burden on residents; transforming Washington into an income tax state will permanently alter its ability to compete with other states for economic development projects and employment centers. Nowhere is this advantage more important than in Southwest Washington, where our lack of a state income tax differentiates us from the rest of the greater Portland metro area. We should not be hampering our region’s economic recovery by introducing a state income tax.

Given the abundant revenue coming Washington’s way in the coming months, I hope you will seriously consider my request: please commit to opposing new and higher taxes during this tenuous time for Washington businesses and families.