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Send a ‘repeal’ message

DAILY SUN NEWS EDITORIAL

Washington state government is collecting more tax revenue than at anytime in state history. Yet, without first asking voters, the Legislature imposed significant tax increases on property owners and businesses this year.

Three non-binding measures — Advisories Nos. 16, 17 and 18 — are on the upcoming general election ballot asking voters if they want to keep or repeal the tax increases. We think they should all be repealed.

Given the minimum wage increases on tap for the next few years and having seen the detrimental effect of previous increases, businesses cannot afford to pony up an additional $565 million. To survive, many will have to pass additional costs onto consumers already reeling from the reduction in employment opportunities here caused by the minimum wage hikes.

We also don’t believe the state should charge commercial fishermen an extra $1 million in food fish excise taxes to pay for more generic “government spending.” If allowed to stand, the added tax means consumers will be paying even higher prices for seafood.

The aforementioned taxes pale in comparison to the additional $12.95 billion in property taxes lawmakers want. The property tax hike was designed to end the McCleary court battle over school funding. But when combined with the state Supreme Court’s Hirst decision — which generally limits future residential wells — it will drive up homeownership costs, leaving fewer people to pay for more government bureaucrats.

Send a message this election, and vote to repeal the massive tax increases.

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