When I came to Olympia, I made this promise to you – I would never support a massive tax increase in our state's spending plan that wasn't brought forward to you, the voter.
In recent months, both Republicans and Democrats worked tirelessly to make noteworthy investments in K-12 education. This was the goal placed before us this session. Today, House Bill 2242 was put before the House and Senate to approve these major investments. However, this plan requires an unprecedented and unsustainable increase in state spending, and calls for significant new resources on the backs of you, the taxpayer, in the form of larger property taxes.
The plan implements a state property tax increase that still does not fully fund the new K-12 investments. In calendar year 2018, all taxpayers will experience a large property tax increase, and in calendar year 2020, taxpayers in 171 school districts will see a net increase in their taxes. I offered a referendum on this bill that would have allowed you the opportunity to voice your opinion, but it was rejected on a party-line vote.
As taxpayers of this state, you should have a say in how your hard-earned money is spent. It shouldn't be up to us, as lawmakers, to always make these decisions for you.
I commend my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their hard-work and due diligence on addressing our goal to put our students first. However, you elected me to represent you, to be your voice and advocate here in Olympia. For these reasons, I voted no on this plan.
I will be going into election year restrictions at the final close of the current special session. During the next few months, you will not be receiving email updates from me. However, that doesn't mean I'm not working on your behalf. My office in Olympia is open year-round. Please feel free to contact me there. Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have a question, concern, or need help dealing with a state government agency.
It's an honor to serve you.