All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

State income tax (yet again)

HB 2224, with the longwinded and deceitful title, "an act Relating to investing in education and essential public services by modifying and improving the fairness of Washington's excise tax system by enacting an excise tax on capital gains [income], narrowing or eliminating tax preferences, reinstating a previously expired business and occupation surtax while increasing the small business tax credit, and implementing marketplace fairness in Washington," has been scheduled for a public hearing by the House Committee on Finance.

Date and Time: 03/31/2015 8:00AM (Subject to change by the Legislature.)
Location: John L. O'Brien Building, House Hearing Rm A, Olympia, WA


The state didn't even send out the notice until 8 hours before the hearing in order to intercept possible objection from the people to yet another tax.  An excise tax on income from capital gains is a doorway to an income tax on all income.   The people have repeatedly voted down an income tax. This is legislative fraud.

This "notice" is an announcement they are going to do whatever they want and screw the people.

These are the names of the backers of this bill.  Let 'em know what you think.

Representative Reuven Carlyle, Prime Sponsor
(360) 786-7814

Representative Ross Hunter
(360) 786-7936


Update 4/8/15: The sponsors list has expanmded to include more greedy politicians in the legislature:

Representative Sam Hunt
(360) 786-7992

Representative Ruth Kagi
Lake Forest Park
(360) 786-7910

Representative Brady Walkinshaw
(360) 786-7826

Monday, March 30, 2015

Condotta’s 2015 update on a legislative tax scam

I want to bring to your attention a very bad piece of legislation for the 12th District, and for the state for that matter.
House Bill 1938 looks harmless when you read the bill title - relating to tourism marketing. However, It would require about 80 percent of businesses in our region to pay a tourism tax that would then go to a 13-person board to decided where the money goes. Click "tourism tax video" to learn more.
Again, this would be a required tax on most businesses. There is no option to participate, meaning this is a $15 million tax increase in general.
Supporters say it is targeted at the tourism industry businesses but when you get into the details of the bill, fees would be imposed on more than just tourism, including:
  • lodging;
  • food service;
  • attractions and entertainment;
  • retail; and
  • transportation.
I am all for establishing a tourism alliance or some type of statewide chamber of commerce, but forced dues on most businesses is the wrong approach, and as I mentioned in the video, perhaps not even constitutional.
Cary Condotta

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Smarting" government

State government is under the gun to fulfill its court-ordered obligations to fully fund schools. No one doubts that the funds exist to meet the McCleary case, the real fight is how much the rest of state government should grow.

House Democrats will reveal their budget proposal on Monday. We’ll see how realistic they choose to be. All indications are that it will include a cap-and-trade carbon tax. What’s unclear is whether the Democrats even have the votes to pass cap-and-trade – Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon gave a pretty political non-answer to Austin Jenkins’ direct question on TVW.

The fiscal reality is, the state will have $3 billion more in its next two-year budget than the current one. That’s an 8% increase to deal with the required education spending increases. But that’s not good enough for some. In his budget proposal, Gov. Inslee called for new taxes that would grow state spending by 15.4%. That’s a big jump.

Do House Democratic leaders think their members have the stomach for big tax increases? We’ll find out Monday.

– Rob McKenna

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Halftime at the legislature

It’s halftime in the 2015 legislative session, and now Legislators are retreating to their districts to hold constituent (that’s you) town halls. Here are the dates and times for the town halls.

This is your opportunity to hear what important issues Legislators are working on, and for you to ask them questions.

If you are short on questions, here are a few we think would be great to ask:
  1. Do you support right-to-work legislation in Washington?
  2. What are you doing to make sure that labor unions are transparent and accountable to the public employees they represent?
  3. Do you support transparent collective bargaining negotiations?
  4. What are you doing to protect the interests of taxpayers in public-sector collective bargaining?
  5. Will you support legislation that gives state workers the choice whether they want to join an employees union or not? 
It’s up to each of us to hold our Legislators accountable, and until we remove the stranglehold public-sector unions have on our government, no idea which limits the growth of government will survive.

Thank you for all you do.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Legislative report

We are approaching the first cutoff date of the 2015 legislative session. This Friday is the policy committee cutoff date, meaning House bills must be passed out of their respective policy committees or they are likely "dead" for the session. The cutoff for the fiscal committees is next week, Feb. 27. Of course bills necessary to implement the budget "NTIB" are exempt from cutoff dates. For more on cutoff click here 

In this week's update I touch on the Senate's transportation proposal and small business-killing legislation we heard in the House Appropriations Committee, and you can watch my legislative update where I discuss my bill that would change red light camera laws.

Cary Condotta


Senate unveils transportation proposal
Late last week the Senate introduced a bipartisan transportation plan. Overall, it is a $15 billion tax increase including an 11.7 cent fuel tax increase over three years, 2015-17 and increases numerous fees. It does contain some important reforms such as prevailing wage requirements on transportation projects and streamlining environmental permitting. However, I believe the current proposal is too large of a tax hit for what the 12th District gets back. Our district would get back about one-half of one percent of the $15 billion package. I am also concerned about the number of fee increases. At this point, I do not support this proposal

Business-killing bills heard in Appropriations Committee
This week the House Appropriations Committee heard a number of bills that could devastate an already fragile business climate in Washington state. Democrats are moving legislation that would:
A higher minimum wage would not reduce poverty, stimulate the economy or address income inequality.  Remember, our state has the highest minimum wage in the nation, but poverty has still increased and our income inequality has grown compared to many other states with the federal minimum wage.In fact, it will cost government more, and drive small employers out of business. It increases employers' taxes, when they already pay an exorbitant amount of taxes. It hurts low-skilled workers and teen unemployment. If a low-skilled worker or teenager is struggling to find work at $9.47 an hour, they will not find work at $12 an hour. We are hearing stories of some companies moving out of the Puget Sound region because of the increased cost of doing business. Read: "Longtime Seattle manufacturer moving 100 jobs to Nevada."

The family and medical leave insurance will be an additional cost to the state and it would also reduce state employee wages. It is another mandate on employers instead of allowing them to provide the benefits or leave that suits their business the best.

If the mandatory paid sick and safe leave were to pass Washington employers would pay approximately $450 million in additional costs. School districts and local governments would face increase costs. Small businesses would disproportionately be effected as most large businesses provide some type of sick leave.

The bill concerning wage retaliation is not needed. There are already several statutes in place prohibiting employers from taking adverse action against employees. It would just add another layer of bureaucracy employers would have to contend with.

What most people miss is the huge increase in cost of government under the bills I have mentioned. This will increase the state budget by billions forcing the state to raise taxes or add additional taxes such as income, capital gains, carbon, etc. No one wins on these bills.

There is also talk circulating around Olympia that large corporations are quietly supporting some of this legislation, particularly the bills mandating some type of leave. It would increase their business at the expense of the small competitors who would have difficulty paying or covering the leave mandates.

Modifying traffic safety cameras
I did a number of interviews in the last week on my traffic safety camera legislation, including on KIRO and KOMO radio. Watch my video update from last week to get more details on it and a wrap-up of last week. Click here to watch it.

What other people read on this blog

Effing the ineffable - Washington State elections sometimes have been rigged.

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
-- Joseph Stalin