CENTRALIA… Tomorrow, middle-class households across California will begin receiving tax-refund payments to help with what one state official calls “inflated costs for everyday necessities.”
Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, responded by pointing out how in Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee and Democratic legislators have refused all year long to offer meaningful tax relief yet are on track to shower a select group of people with money that will help them contend with historically high prices.
“Democratic leaders in our state seem blind to the hardships being faced by families, especially those in the middle. Every time Republicans have tried to let the people keep more of their own money instead of giving it to the state, Democrats have said no. Gas prices are climbing again, but when we proposed an immediate suspension of the state gas tax, to save drivers 49.4 cents per gallon, the governor and other Democrats resorted to disinformation. They talk about making ‘targeted investments’ instead of offering broad tax relief, as Republicans would do. We’re seeing what that means: historically generous pay raises for members of public-sector unions, secretly negotiated by the governor.
“For years Washington has blindly mimicked California on energy and environmental policies that make living in our state less affordable. Now that California is putting money back into the pockets of its people, and acknowledging that they could use some help from government, Governor Inslee won’t follow and our Democratic colleagues in the Legislature are silent.
“Within a matter of months, middle-income families in Washington will see a host of tax increases – from those taken directly out of their wages, to higher sales and property taxes, to increased costs of driving – all due to policies enacted by Democrats and signed by Governor Inslee in the past two legislative sessions. In that light, the choice to approve fat new labor agreements instead of helping families sends a clear message: Some people matter more than the rest. State employees do valuable work, but this makes Inslee and any Democrats who support his selective giveaway of taxpayer dollars look heartless. Olympia badly needs a change in direction.”