Operating and transportation and capital, oh my!
Senate Republicans unveiled their two-year operating budget this week and their key selling point reverberated throughout the state: no new taxes.
“It’s a no new taxes budget,” several Republican lawmakers said.
Headlines followed suit, “State GOP unveils ‘no new taxes’ budget.”
But wait, one astute reader pointed out: Aren’t Senate Republicans pushing a gas tax this legislative session?
Well, yes …
It’s budget crunch time in Olympia and probably a worthwhile reminder that the two-year operating budget is different from the proposed transportation and capital budgets.
The proposed 11.7 cents incremental gas tax is in the Senate’s $15 billion proposed transportation package.
Here’s another noteworthy nuance, when Republicans say no “new” taxes, that doesn’t mean they won’t increase existing taxes.
The Senate Republican’s two-year operating budget proposal allows several tax exemptions to expire, which is in effect raising taxes.
Here’s a recap of where lawmakers are at with each budget: the House, which is controlled by the Democrats, passed their budget this week.
Highlights from the House Democrat’s budget include sending $3.2 billion to K-12 education and $1.4 billion to help satisfy the McCleary requirements. It’s a $38.8 billion two-year budget.
It includes a 5 percent capital gains tax, allows for several tax exemptions to expire and has a slight increase in the business and occupation taxes.
Despite pulling an all-nighter, the Senate, controlled by the Republicans, did not pass their budget this week. They are expected to debate the budget again on Monday.
Their proposal includes sending $2.7 billion to K-12, $1.3 billion to satisfy McCleary requirements and cutting tuition at universities. To pay for their $38 billion two-year budget, they would allow for 15 tax exemptions to expire, rely on marijuana and other existing revenue and dip into other accounts.
The House has not yet unveiled a transportation package. The Senate has already pass a transportation package.
Only the House has passed a capital budget, which addresses construction needs for state buildings, schools and other government buildings and spaces
Lawmakers have until April 26 until they are scheduled to adjourn.