Where's the love for jobs?

February 14, 2013

No matter where your turn the word from the White House to the Governor to our state lawmakers is jobs, jobs, jobs.

Despite the professed love of entrepreneurs and growing our economy back to respectability, Washingtonians will be provided a glimpse this afternoon of five tax increase proposals that would cost jobs.

I asked the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University to model the impact on jobs creation or destruction of the tax increase proposals being heard today in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Here are the results by bill on jobs (the numbers are the net difference between private sector jobs lost and public sector jobs gained):

Based on statements from the Senate Majority Caucus, however, these tax increase proposals will not move past today's public hearing.

According to a press release by Sen. John Braun:

While Sen. John Braun has no interest in tax increases, he is interested in bringing more cooperation and bipartisanship to the state Capitol – and that’s why the 20th District lawmaker will spend part of Valentine’s Day listening to proposals from the Senate minority that would raise taxes on Washingtonians by more than $38 billion.

'The voters sent a strong no-new-taxes message in November. Still, several of my colleagues in the Senate minority think this would be a great time to go for everything from new income taxes to a tax on plastic bags,' said Braun, R-Centralia.

'Those of us from the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus who serve on the Senate budget committee are going to let them make their case Thursday – and frankly, I suspect the public will be shocked and disappointed to realize how eager some legislators are to add to the tax burden on job creators and working families.'

Taxes on the table by the Senate minority include $3.6 billion in new gas taxes, $1.5 billion in new business-and-occupation taxes, $89.2 billion in new income taxes, $134 million in new plastic bag taxes and $44 million in new utility taxes. The proposals would reduce property, insurance and sales taxes but not eliminate any of them . . .

Braun said he realizes his constituents may wonder why the Majority Coalition Caucus would hold a hearing when the tax proposals run counter to the focus he and the other 24 MCC members have on creating jobs.

'Over the past ten years, when conservatives were in the Senate minority, they were unable to get hearings on thousands of bills,' Braun said. 'Typical partisan politics dictated everything, and good ideas were ignored. We refuse to act like the bullies of the past, which means we will allow hearings on minority bills and welcome open dialogue on all issues of importance.'

It will be interesting to hear the dialogue on these tax increase bills today.