September 23, 2019
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AWB votes to oppose I-976 and endorse a legislative candidate



Washington’s transportation infrastructure needs more investment, not less. That’s why AWB voted last week to oppose Initiative 976, which threatens to cut funding for badly needed projects throughout the state.

“Now more than ever, Washington needs to invest in projects that get people to work swiftly, children to school safely and goods to market efficiently,” said AWB President Kris Johnson. “If it’s approved, I-976 will remove billions from the transportation budget at a time when we can least afford it, jeopardizing critical projects throughout the state. We took a big step a few years ago when lawmakers approved the Connecting Washington transportation package with bipartisan support. It was the first major transportation investment package in a decade. Since then, the state population has continued to grow, further straining our transportation network. Now is not the time to pull back from investing in projects that will make our roads safer, reduce congestion and improve our economy.”

The No on 976 campaign has more information on why this initiative is the wrong direction for Washington. The site also has a link to financially support the campaign to oppose I-976.

The AWB board of directors voted to oppose I-976 at its meeting Thursday during the organization’s annual Policy Summit. The board also voted to endorse state Rep. Alex Ybarra in the race for House Position 1 in the 13th Legislative District.

Candidate endorsements are the result of a months-long process based on member input and candidate interviews.

“Washington employers are committed to supporting legislative candidates who understand the decisions they make in Olympia can help or hurt private employers and the health of our state economy,” Johnson said. “We believe Rep. Ybarra has demonstrated an understanding of the issues facing employers and a desire to help employers grow, which will enable families and communities to prosper.”



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Arguments Against a State Income Tax


An income tax is not in our best interest

By Washington Treasurer Duane Davidson

Today, we are at a point where Washington legislators need to reexamine their financial practices and consider the consequences of their actions that have led some to consider establishing a state income tax.

The historically unpopular notion of introducing an income tax is not exactly new to Washington, yet it has seen growing interest from income tax supporters in big city government and from certain state lawmakers who would pass income tax legislation if given the opportunity.

As Washington State Treasurer, four-term Benton County Treasurer, and licensed CPA for over 25 years, I have cultivated an automatic sense of duty to advocate for fiscal responsibility. When I see such disregard for taxpayers, my obligation is to stand up for what is right on their behalf.

Many of the legislature's self-induced financial woes have readily available remedies that do not involve raising taxes or adding an income tax, making it apparent to me that as a state we have some serious financial issues within our legislative practices we need to start addressing...

Taxing income would weaken Washington's thriving economy and reduce our capacity to compete for business. We need to agree on improving our habits and reigning in state debt before considering the addition of new taxes. An income tax is not in our best interest.

Read the full guest column in The Tri-City Herald