Legislators from both sides of the aisle turned out in force for last week's 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up. Held by the East King Chambers Coalition, this annual event never fails to produce fireworks.
To nobody's surprise, there was sharp disagreement as to why a Special Session was needed to close a $200 million gap in the Supplemental Budget. Senator Andy Hill (R-45), chair of Senate Ways and Means, faulted House Democrats to task for proposing new taxes and spending in a supplemental year. Representative Tana Senn (D-41), responded that state agencies which provide core services are chronically underfunded.
Everyone agreed that 2017 will be the year to fix basic education and end reliance on local school levies. Representative Chad Magendanz (R-5) favors increasing the average state property tax levy, while Representative Patty Kuderer said it is time to consider new revenue sources, including income and capital gains taxes.
Regardless, all legislators agreed that despite the state's over-reliance on the Business and Occupation Tax, relief for small and medium-sized businesses will be unlikely in 2017.
Help shape the Coalition's advocacy agenda by joining one of the Bellevue Chamber's policy committees; contact Chris Johnson for details.