Last week, Jay Inslee appeared on KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show where he made a couple of telling comments – largely ignored by the media – concerning his plans for tax hikes. Inslee started off by commenting on the relative “success” of the 2015 legislative session. He described it as a “good session,” touting job creation and our state’s “quickly improving” economy.
Our green governor appears to admit that his call for historic tax increases totaling $1.4 billion, including a state capital gains income tax and a cap-and-tax scheme, was totally unnecessary. Just to be clear, here’s a summary of Inslee’s tax increase proposals (courtesy of the Washington Policy Center) one could assume—by his statement – he is admitting he was wrong about:
- Creation of a capital gains income tax – $798 million
- Create state carbon cap and trade system – $380 million (another $549 million for transportation budget)
- Cigarette/e-cigs tax increase – $56 million
- Remove sales tax exemption for trade-ins – $105 million
- Remove use tax exemption for extracted fuel – $51 million
- Charge sales tax on non-residents – $52 million
- Charge sales tax on bottled water – $44 million
- Change B&O tax rate for royalties – $30 million
Naturally, if Inslee really feels so optimistic about the future of our state, you might think he would realize that burdening working families with even higher taxes is unnecessary.. You might even expect him to guarantee what the no-new-taxes pledge he promised so many times back when he was campaigning to be governor of our state.
Given Inslee’s optimistic comments, any reasonable person might make any one of these assumptions. Only, they would be wrong. Seemingly in his next breath, Inslee signaled that, in the future, he will propose tax increases.
Inslee told Monson, “We’re going to look for economic growth that will hopefully solve our problems like it did this year. But we have another several billion dollars we have to figure out how to generate.”
When asked whether or not he would make a no-new-taxes pledge Inslee said, “I’m not going to take pledges, except to do my constitutional duty, which includes finding a way to generate several billion dollars…”
Despite his previous comments, Inslee made it clear that he does not truly understand and/or appreciate state economists’ most recent revenue forecast. His obsession with new taxes may be blinding him to the fact that the revenue forecast reveals our state can count on another $400 million without raising taxes a dime. In total, our state has $3.2 billion (a whopping 9.2% increase) more in tax revenue than during the last budget cycle.
The fact that Inslee refuses to pledge not raise taxes should come as no surprise, considering the stunning manner in which he broke his previous pledges. For his next gubernatorial campaign, Inslee might as well pledge not to make any more pledges because he’s broken every one he has ever made.