Issue: Washington State is facing an estimated $8.0 billion budget deficit because of out of control spending and decreased revenue. Instead of focusing on reduced spending, the Legislative Majority is looking for ways to increase revenue.
Discussion: Unemployment rates are increasing in the 15th District and throughout Washington State. Routinely, companies are downsizing, closing or moving out of the state. Unfortunately, thus far the Legislative Majority has failed to take meaningful action to improve the business climate in reaction to the growing problem.
Over the past several years, laws have been passed which restrict the hiring of student aged employees, increase the tax burden on businesses and expand the regulatory burden on employers. Unless the Legislature takes action to improve business opportunities, the State will see a continued decline in revenue.
Solutions: If appointed as the 15th District Representative, I will work to increase the opportunities for existing and new businesses to prosper in the 15th District. I would work on several specific action items to address the issue. First, I would work to eliminate the Business and Operations Tax and allow businesses to keep the money they earned. This would increase the amount of capital a business has with which to operate.
Second, I would work to reduce Unemployment Insurance tax, which is currently the second highest in the nation, and reduce the costs associated with unemployment benefit levels, which are the fifth most generous nationally.
Third, I would work to provide local governments with the authority to pass additional incentive based measures to recruit new businesses to their jurisdiction.
These action items would improve the overall business climate in Washington State, encourage the expansion of existing businesses and assist in the recruitment of new businesses. In the long run, I believe these actions would read to record revenue levels.