OLYMPIA…Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, made the following comments in reaction to the announcement that the proposal to allow local governments to raise property taxes by up to 3% annually without a vote of the people is dead for this legislative session.
“This is a win for the people of Washington. Senate Bill 5770 could have resulted in the largest property tax increase in our state’s history – without a vote of the people. This bill is overwhelmingly unpopular. People can’t afford a 3% annual increase in their property taxes. And renters can’t afford another tax that could push them out on the street. I’d like to think Democrats are starting to listen to people’s very real concerns.
“Counties who claim they will need to make cuts to services because they can’t triple their annual increase to their property taxes is misleading. They can raise taxes that high IF they can get people to vote for it, but not without voter approval. Some counties, such as King County, spent one-time federal COVID-19 funding on ongoing programs. And now that money is gone. That’s bad budgeting. Pierce County was smarter with their budget and won’t have to cut services. Some counties have a spending problem, not a revenue problem.”