Senator Schoesler calls for sales-tax freeze
Last updated 7/8/2022 at 1:02pm
RITZVILLE – Sen. Mark Schoesler is calling on the governor to freeze sales taxes after last week’s announcement the state will collect $1.46 billion in additional revenue this biennium.
“If Gov. Inslee and Democratic leaders in Congress like Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Schumer think a gas-tax holiday is a bad idea, let’s focus on suspending the state sales tax for Washingtonians,” said Schoesler, R-Ritzville. “It’s a fast and simple solution to help consumers in our state who are battling record inflation, and it would address what many people call a regressive tax. If the governor likes gas prices as high as they are, let’s offer tax relief in a different way. And let’s do it soon.”
Schoesler represents the 9th Legislative District, including Adams County.
According to Schoesler, a state sales-tax freeze would be especially good for border communities like Spokane, Pullman, Clarkston, Goldendale and Vancouver.
Businesses suffer when residents in those cities cross the border to buy goods and products in Idaho and Oregon, which don’t have a state sales tax.
“Let’s drop the state sales tax by a percentage point,” Schoesler said. “Hopefully, we can do it permanently. If not, we could at least continue a sales-tax suspension until the Legislature decides that inflation is no longer a burden on Washington families and individuals.”
Schoesler pointed to a comment made last week by Steve Lerch, director of the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council: “Continued strong revenue collections and high inflation have again resulted in increases in the revenue forecast.”
“What his comment means is that our state is basically making even more money in taxes due to higher prices caused by inflation,” Schoesler said. “It’s wrong and immoral for the state to more or less make a profit off the backs of taxpayers due to record inflation.
“Our governor needs to realize this and finally support tax relief for Washingtonians instead of treating them like an ATM for his spending agenda.”
Schoesler first called for Inslee and the Legislature to provide tax relief for Washingtonians last December after consumers throughout the U.S. were forced to pay higher prices on many items in 2021, including food, energy, new automobiles, medical care and shelter.
“Whatever salary increases people have received in the past year or two, that extra earning power has been more than wiped out by the staggering inflation we’ve all had to endure. This has made it harder for families and individuals to make ends meet. It’s time for Olympia to address it.”
Schoesler serves on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which addresses budget and tax issues.