State GOP: Dems “Struck Out On Own” on Gas Taxes This Session
A GOP legislator says unlike in previous years, Democrats in Olympia appear to be pushing various taxes and agendas without bipartisan collaboration.
State House Rep Andrew Barkis (R-Olympia) told the Jason Rantz show on AM 770 KTTH last Friday that unlike other years, bipartisanship appears to be left behind.
Barkis said he has worked with the House Transportation Committee Chair and other Democratic leaders to hammer out some 'decent' budgets; ones that presumably didn't include crippling tax hikes or other highly controversial measures.
But this year, he told Rantz:
"...They really struck out on their own. This was all done without any kind of bipartisan collaboration on the lead up to this; as a matter of fact, it was just kind of dropped, and then here it was, and I was doing scramble research yesterday.”
He was referring to the massive transportation budget and it's $.18 cent per gallon tax, as well as new carbon fees that could add anywhere from $.57 or more to a gallon of gas. Some sources say if all the measures pass, WA drivers could see $1.00 more per gallon by mid 2022.
It's believed some changes in the Democratic makeup of the House, as well as increased pressure from Gov. Inslee are responsible for this 'tunnell vision' approach. Some of the newer Democratic legislators are not far off from AOC in their approach.
Barkis says these new tax proposals are not tied to selling general obligation bonds, which require a 2/3 vote of House and Senate. These measures will only require a simple majority to pass. Because the Dems hold a slim lead in the Senate and just over a double digit lead in House, these could be rammed through.
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