State House Leader McMorris talks 'budget'


from Representative Cathy McMorris
House Republican Leader

After three months of being in session and with less than a month to go, we still have not seen a budget proposal by the House Democrat Majority. This will leave us with a very short amount of time to debate the state's most important piece of legislation. We have, however, been getting strong signals that their budget will include tax increases -- despite Governor Locke saying "I believe a general tax increase would be unwise in these tough economic times." (Longview Daily News 1/8/2003). Here are a few indications of what's coming (legislators often speak in code, so I've taken the liberty of translating):

Define "Small and Temporary"...Rep. Bill Fromhold (D-Vancouver) said the state will need a "small and temporary" increase in revenues. "The reality is you can't cut your way out of a $2.5 billion, $3 billion deficit, nor can you tax your way out of it."
Source: The Columbian 12/14/2002
Translation: It's easier to live outside your means than within them.

The value of time...Rep. Maralyn Chase (D- Edmonds) said, "I'm going to spend a lot of my time trying to show people that we need to raise revenues."
Source: The Everett Herald 1/12/2003
Translation: Tax hike, tax hike, tax hike!

Interpreting for Governor Locke...Rep. Helen Sommers (D-Seattle), Appropriations Chair, said: "He (Locke) didn't quite say 'no taxes.'"
Source: The Olympian 1/16/2003
Translation: Please call the governor's office to see if he means "no taxes."

Good for Oregon Businesses...Rep. Bill Fromhold (D-Vancouver) said he supports temporarily increasing the sales tax by about a half-penny per dollar. The sales tax increase would be automatically repealed in two years. Fromhold called increasing the sales tax "the least of evils."
Source: The Columbian 1/16/2003
Translation: A $1.2 billion sales tax increase, or more if this "temporary" increase becomes permanent.

What about your options?...Rep. Eileen Cody (D- Seattle) said, "We need to explore our options."
Source: King County Journal 3/1/2003
Translation: Exploring new ways to get into your pockets.

Grab your wallet and duck, they're shooting...Rep. Jeff Gombosky (D-Spokane) said, "The number we're shooting for is $100 million in (fewer) tax breaks."
Source: Spokesman-Review 3/9/2003
Translation: A hundred million in fewer tax breaks means a hundred million in new taxes on employers.

Feeling your pain...Rep. Jim McIntire (D-Seattle) "I'm not a fan of the sales tax. But I think it's broad enough and would cause the least amount of pain."
Source: Seattle Times 3/16/2003
Translation: It's not an income tax, but it's the next best way to get the most amount of money out of the taxpayer.

What's wrong with the old revenue?...At a recent union gathering, House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-Seattle) and Appropriations Chairwoman Helen Sommers (D-Seattle) said Democrats plan to find new revenue to stave off some of Locke's cuts.
Source: Seattle Times 3/16/2003
Translation: New revenue for state = less money for taxpayers.

The straw that broke the camel's back...House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-Seattle) said solving the budget shortfall would take "such a little amount of money" from every citizen. "We can afford to do a little more," said Chopp.
Source: Seattle Times 3/16/2003
Translation: A hundred million here, a hundred million there. Before you know it, we're talking real tax increases!

Relying on taxes...Budget leaders in the Democrat-controlled House say their spending proposal will rely partly on tax increases or some other form of new revenue.
Source: Seattle Times 3/16/2003
Translation: All "revenue" comes from taxpayers...there is no other "form."

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Representative Cathy McMorris

House Republican Leader


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