Washington Senate Session Update
Senate Democrats unveiled their budget plan yesterday and it calls for a big increase in spending — a little over 12%. The $59.2 billion two-year budget proposal assumes passage of a 7% capital gains tax, and it draws down the rainy day fund. It also spends approximately $7 billion in one-time funds from the American Rescue Plan, bringing the overall increase in state spending to 15% when the federal funds are included. The Washington Research Council has more details here.
It’s unfortunate that lawmakers are continuing to push for a capital gains tax when it’s clear that new taxes aren’t needed. Between soaring state tax collections and the flood of federal funding, there’s enough money coming into the state to pay for the state’s priorities without enacting a new tax.
There will be a new round of newspaper ads running (last) Sunday that make this point by showing how much money is coming into local governments. Spoiler alert: Even the smallest counties will receive several million dollars, and most are somewhere between tens of millions and hundreds of millions. One is over $1 billion. And we’ll have more on the budget in Sunday’s Capitol Focus.