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Dear friends and neighbors,

It is week five of the 2024 legislative session and I wanted to check-in and share what I’ve been working on.

First and foremost, in my new budget role as the lead Republican on the House Appropriations Committee I have been laser focused on opposing any new taxes majority Democrats are trying to pass – and there are several.

WATCH: Click the image below to watch Rep. Corry’s legislative video update from week one of the 2024 legislative session

In particular, I am concerned with Senate Bill 5770, a bill first introduced late last session, that would raise the more than 20-year-old 1% cap on the growth of state and local property taxes to 3%.  It received a hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Jan. 18.

Make no mistake, this bill will hurt Washingtonians – especially those struggling to make ends meet. We know property taxes are already too high. Sadly, the high cost has already driven some homeowners from their homes and many more are sure to follow if this bill passes. While 3% may not sound like much – it is significant because it allows that increase annually creating a brutal compounding effect that would raise property tax collections by $4.4 billion in just the next five years. On top of that, this bill allows these increased property tax collections without voter approval eliminating the current process that was set by you – the voters.

I will do everything I can to stop this bill from passing the House.

I am also offering a doable solution in House Bill 2436 that solves the financial issues facing local jurisdictions without costing you – the taxpayers. With the state bringing in billions in surplus revenue from a variety of sources, including other taxes recently put in place by Democrats, such as Gov. Jay Inslee’s cap-and-trade program and the capital gains tax, it is ludicrous to try to squeeze one more cent from the people of Washington state. At the same time, I recognize cities and counties have limited means to fund their obligations.

For me, it is a simple equation. The state takes less. Local jurisdictions can collect a tax equivalent to what the state gives up so there is zero impact for you.

That is what I propose in House Bill 2436, which would see the state lower the state sales tax by 0.5% while giving cities and counties the ability to raise their sales tax by 0.5% – but only with voter approval.

On the issue of taxes, multiple initiatives to the Legislature have been certified by the Secretary of State and now sit in committees. Unfortunately, majority Democrats refused to pass our motions to hear these bills in committee hearings which means these issues will likely be decided by you in November.

State lawmakers have several options when receiving a certified initiative to the Legislature:

  1. Pass the initiative as written;
  2. Do nothing and send the initiative to the voters;
  3. Pass an alternative that appears side by side on the ballot next to the original initiative.

The six initiatives to the Legislature include:

  • I-2113 (removing new restrictions on Police Pursuits);
  • I-2117 (Repealing the Climate Commitment Act/Cap and Trade/gas prices);
  • I-2109 (Repealing the Capital Gains Tax);
  • I-2081 (Guaranteeing parents can review their child’s school curriculum;
  • I-2111 (prohibits state and local personal income taxes); and,
  • I-2124 (allowing WA workers to opt out of the state’s Long-Term Care Tax

I encourage all of you to familiarize yourself with these initiatives and I will keep you updated on any potential progress in the Legislature.

Child Care

I want to take a moment to share details on bipartisan legislation I have cosponsored to try to address the shortage of child care in our community. In October, many of you joined my team and I on our day-long cross district tour, and one of the big concerns from all of you was the lack of affordable child care and in some cases child care deserts. House Bill 1716 aims to improve the access to affordable child care by giving businesses an incentive to provide child care for their workers in the form of a tax credit.

WATCH: Click the image below to watch Rep. Corry discuss the bill he has cosponsored to improve access to affordable child care

Save the Date

Finally, I want to share that Sen. Curtis King, Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, and myself will soon be inviting you to join us for an upcoming virtual town hall on Feb. 22 at 6:30 pm. Please look for more details in my next email update.

Until then, I look forward to hearing from you through my legislative website or better yet, here in Olympia if you get the opportunity!

Sincerely,


Chris Corry

State Representative Chris Corry, 14th Legislative District
RepresentativeChrisCorry.com
122F Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
chris.corry@leg.wa.gov
(360) 786-7810 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000