Serving Franklin County, WA

Commissioners vote 2-1 to ban local income tax

Mullen, Didier support resolution; Peck opposes

PASCO – In a split vote, the Franklin County Commission voted Tuesday morning, Nov. 9, to pass a resolution banning a local income tax.

The vote was 2-1 to approve the measure, with Commissioners Rocky Mullen and Chairman Clint Didier supporting it.

Commissioner Lowell “Brad” Beck opposed the measure drafted by County Administrator Keith Johnson.

Peck claimed Resolution 2021-261 lacked teeth and that commissioners may not have authority to pass such a measure.

“I have no problem with the resolution,” Mullen said.

Peck said he opposed the resolution because it “has no teeth” and it was “not ready for action.”

“It would seem to me the resolution has no effect,” Peck said. “Candidly, it comes across as a bit of grandstanding.”

The resolution declares that the county’s opposition to a local income tax.

“Such a tax would be in direct conflict with the high value the county places on promoting economic development through the attraction and expansion of financially healthy, family wage paying employers,” the resolution says. “Small businesses are the backbone of our local, regional, state, and national economy and it is imperative that the county not put unnecessary hurdles in the way of their success.”

Peck called the measure “redundant and unnecessary,” while he claimed to oppose an income tax at any level of government in the state.

Franklin is the second in the state voting to ban a local income tax; Yakima County is the other.

In addition, 11 cities have passed similar measures banning a local income tax, including nearby Richland and Kennewick.

Pasco is the only one of the Tri-Cities yet to pass a local income tax ban.

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Roger Harnack, Publisher

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Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


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