Budget forces taxpayers to make sacrifices, asks little of government

After a long evening debate, the House Democrats’ passed their supplemental operating budget, which assumes passage of the largest tax increase in state history to close the $2.7 billion spending gap. Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, voted against the supplemental operating budget and had this to say:

“Hard-working taxpayers are making sacrifices to ensure they can feed their families, keep a roof over their heads and hold on to their jobs, yet the budget passed today asks for little sacrifice from government. Increasing taxes to continue the failed budgeting process used last year has yet to yield anything but mounting deficits, is something I could not support. Now is the time to create stability for economic recovery; instead, these tax hikes will have chilling consequences on our economy.

“This budget fails to imagine a state government that is nimble, prioritized and more efficient, which I believe is the hope of people from all political persuasions. It is unfair to the citizens of this state to offer them nothing more than a government-centric spending plan. It does not build faith in this Legislature’s ability to manage finances and put our state back on the path of economic recovery.

“We can do better for the people of this state than the failed ‘business as usual’ spending policies that are drowning the state in red ink.”

As passed, the Democrats’ budget assumes the following to balance the $2.7 billion spending gap:

  • $857 million in tax increases;
  • $641 million in additional one-time federal bailout money (which is dependent on federal legislation that has not passed);
  • $236 million in one-time fund transfers from the capital budget and other dedicated accounts;
  • $314 million raid of the state “rainy day” account; and
  • $650 million in spending reductions.

Total state spending under the plan would be more than $30.5 billion, which represents an increase of more than $200 million this year. Revenues are estimated to be $29.3 billion.

The 60-day 2010 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn March 11.


Washington State House Republican Communications