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Dear Friends,


It was quite a contrast. During the same week that Democrats passed a $6 billion tax package in the House Transportation Committee and nearly $1 billion in new taxes from the House floor, three of our Freedom Agenda measures, House Bill 1093 – state agency lobbying; House Bill 1334 – motorcycle conversion kits; and Senate Bill 5705 – electronic partial payments on past-due property taxes — passed the House unanimously and were sent to the governor for his signature.

With only two days remaining of the regular session, which is scheduled to adjourn April 28, it seems Democrats are determined to insist on two things: billions of dollars in tax increases and a special session. Both come at the expense of taxpayers – and both are totally unnecessary.

I will be insistent as well – NO TAX INCREASES! The state will have an additional $2 billion in revenue in the next budget cycle. We have more than sufficient revenue to meet the needs of the state, including additional funding for education. We don’t need job-killing tax increases that would grow government, expand regulations and reduce your freedoms. We need LOWER taxes, LESS government and MORE freedom. That’s what The Freedom Agenda is about.

I encourage you to stay in contact with me. You will see my contact information at the bottom of this e-mail. Please DO NOT hit “Reply” to this e-mail, as it will not get to me.

Freedom Agenda successes 

More successes to report on The Freedom Agenda. The House has given unanimous approval and sent to the governor the following Freedom Agenda bills:

  • Conversion kits on motorcycles – House Bill 1334 – would allow disabled veterans and other riders requiring additional stability the opportunity to place stabilizing conversion kits on motorcycles, giving them the freedom to enjoy motorcycle riding. The kits have been in production for at least 15 years.
  • Restricting taxpayer-funded lobbyists – House Bill 1093 – would impose a personal penalty of $100 per statement on a state agency director who knowingly fails to file lobbyist disclosure statements. It would also establish penalties against any state agency official, officer, or employee who is responsible for or knowingly spends public funds in violation of lobbyist restrictions.
  • “Save Our Homes” –  Senate Bill 5705 would require the county treasurer to accept partial payments on property taxes and for delinquent taxes, including interest, if the payment is made electronically. It also eliminates penalties. This is the Senate version of a measure I introduced in the House (House Bill 1430) to help those facing property tax foreclosure. Senate Bill 5705 passed the House unanimously yesterday.


This week’s ‘Bad Bill’ – House Bill 2038: House Democrats’ job-killing tax increasesbad-bill

Taxes don’t redistribute wealth. They redistribute people. When taxes get too high, people move to places like Oregon and Idaho. That may very well be the case if House Bill 2038 becomes law. It would increase taxes in Washington by more than $900 million and lead to thousands of jobs lost in Washington, businesses closing and moving away.

I have a good friend who owns a trucking company in the Spokane Valley. He works until midnight nearly every day to support his three young children. He was concerned the Legislature might raise taxes on the trucking industry. I’m fighting for him and the other small businesses and families in our district. The tax for a small 10-truck company with a gross revenue per truck of $200,000  a year is an average $6,500 a year in Oregon and California. Under the new tax bill, it would be $38,500 a year in Washington. And the tax on the net for that company would be almost 50 percent. Add to that a 13-cent gas tax increase proposed by House Democrats and then you wonder why any small trucking firm would choose to stay in Washington.

Let’s have this conversation upfront and shout it LOUD:  The state of Washington is expected to take in $2 BILLION MORE in the coming budget cycle – and that’s without tax increases. But that’s not enough for Democrats. They want to drain the state’s “Rainy Day Fund” — $575 million, transfer $180 million into the general fund from dedicated accounts, and raise taxes by $905 million. In other words, they want to increase spending in the next biennium by more than $3.6 billion.

Let’s put that in perspective. The ENTIRE budget for the state of Idaho in fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1, is $2.7 billion. Washington has a two-year budget of more than $32 billion. Democrats want to increase your taxes and spending by more than the budget of Idaho. These tax increases will kill jobs, close businesses, and send employers like my friend to Idaho. That’s why House Bill 2038 is our BAD BILL of the week!

Shea-FloorQuoteHere’s a look at those tax increases:

As passed from the House floor Wednesday by a vote of 50-47 (I VOTED NO!), House Bill 2038 would…

  • permanently extend the business and occupation (B&O) surtax on certain businesses ($534 million tax increase);
  • increase B&O tax rates for travel agents ($14.6 million tax increase);
  • place a sales and use tax on bottled water ($51.5 million tax increase). This is the same tax that was repealed by voters in 2010;
  • repeal the nonresident sales and use tax exemption ($63.7 million tax increase). This could especially hit border counties very hard along the Oregon and the British Columbia borders. (See this 2011 opinion editorial from Reps. Terry Nealey and Ed Orcutt.);
  • increase taxes for high-tech research and development ($78.7 million tax increase);
  • increase taxes on truck transport of goods in state that are destined for out of state ($63.2 million tax increase);
  • increase B&O and sales and use taxes for import commerce ($24.2 million tax increase).
  • increase B&O taxes for sellers of prescription drugs ($29 million tax increase).
  • increase taxes for extracted fuel ($40.8 million tax increase)



Take action now!

This is your opportunity to speak up and take action! This week’s action item is:

House Bill 2038  – Narrowing or eliminating tax preferences and extending taxes that were set to expire.

Impact: This bill would unnecessarily increase taxes. The Washington Policy Center says it could potentially eliminate thousands of private-sector jobs in Washington.

Status: Passed the House, 50-47. Sent to the Senate for further consideration.

Action needed:

Please take action now!


Matt Shea

State Representative Matt Shea, 4th Legislative District
427A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7984 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000