Rep. Peter Abbarno: House-approved supplemental operating budget fails to provide meaningful tax relief in time of need

The Washington State House of Representatives voted Saturday evening to approve the largest supplemental operating budget in the history of the state — a $6.2 billion increase over current 2021-23 spending. Senate Bill 5693 was approved, 56-37, with all Republicans voting “no.”

Following passage, Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia, who opposed the spending plan issued the following statement:

“The House Democratic-approved supplemental operating budget does little to relieve the financial pressure working families and small businesses are feeling, while the state sits on a $15 billion surplus from taxpayers' hard-earned money. The Legislature has an unprecedented opportunity to give back to the people who have sacrificed so much over the last two years. Unfortunately, this budget provides no tax relief to struggling taxpayers.

“I voted against the operating budget because it fails to recognize the big picture that working families need and deserve tax relief. Taxpayers deserve greater economic opportunities, and that starts with more money in their family's budget.”

Quick facts about the 2021-23 supplemental operation budget – Senate Bill 5693:

  • This budget spends $65 billion in state funds, an increase of $6.2 billion (10.5%) over current 2021-23 spending.
  • It represents the largest spending plan in state history. This supplemental budget is almost 10 times more expensive than any previous supplemental budget.
  • From the 2011-13 budget to the 2021-23 budget, under this plan, state spending will have increased by more than $34 billion — more than double in 10 years.
  • Despite the pandemic, tax collections have skyrocketed. Revenue growth is 13.3% in 2021 and 8.7% in 2022.
  • Since the 2021-23 budget was enacted last March, revenue has increased by $9.25 billion over four years.
  • After paying for the cost of currently authorized programs, there is a four-year surplus of about $15 billion.
  • This budget leaves a small four-year ending fund balance of $221 million plus $1.25 billion in the rainy-day fund, enough for the state to operate for about 10 days (compared to the 50-state median of 29 days).
  • Republicans offered Amendment 1210 (Stokesbary) on the House floor to reduce the state sales tax by 0.5% ($2.75 billion) over four years. The Democratic majority rejected the amendment.
  • Republicans have offered a budget framework called the “SAFE Washington” plan that makes appropriations prioritizing Safety, Affordability, Families and the Economy. For information about that plan, go to: https://houserepublicans.wa.gov/safe-wa-budget/

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov