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Inslee lays out 2015 agenda, calls for new capital gains tax on wealthiest 1% to help pay for education

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — An ambitious plan of new taxes and new spending — that was the message of Gov. Jay Inslee  in his 2015 State of the State Address on Tuesday.

“It is now time for reinvestment,” Inslee said to lawmakers assembled in the House chamber of the state Capitol.

The governor called for billions more for public schools and transportation.  To help pay for his program, the governor wants a new tax on capital gains that would target the wealthiest 1% in the state.

“Washington has the nation’s most unfair tax system,” Inslee said.  “A new teacher pays three times more in taxes as a percentage than our wealthiest citizens.”

Data pix.

As he called for over $2 billion in addition funds for public schools, the governor reminded legislators of a state Supreme Court order requiring more money for K-12 education.

While there isn’t a similar court order to fix the state’s aging roads and bridges, Inslee was adamant that he wants a transportation package this session, something that has been stalled for years.

“Without action, there will be a 52 percent cut in the maintenance budget, and 71 bridges will become structurally deficient or functionally obsolete,” the governor said.  “The state cannot accept a continued failure to move on transportation.”

Inslee proposed a carbon cap and trade system, specifically to pay for road and bridge projects.

Republicans were quick to respond -- and criticize -- Inslee's proposals.  They argued that while transportation improvements are needed, they want major reforms to the Washington State Department of Transportation first, before any new money is given to the agency.

“With the (State Route) 520 (Bridge) problem, with the ferry problems, and so on and so on and so on," said Rep. Dan Kristiansen, House Republican leader, "the public has become very, very, very concerned about the accountability, or lack thereof, when it comes to a state agency.”

The GOP gained seats in last November’s election and now fully the control the state Senate.  Given how polarized the parties are when it comes to raising new money, it’s expected that this session could easily go past the April deadline to come up with a budget plan.

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    • Shaggy

      No need for concern. This capital gains tax only effects the wealthy. Because their money is made on the backs of the workers, it is only fair that they should pay their fair share to ensure the workers can send their kids to proper schools and etc. In return the wealthy can avail themselves to the benefits of our economy (which they pay taxes on) and the labor of workers. It is a win-win situation for all.

  • CBP

    Someone remind Inslee that’s what the Lottery was for! Instead they put the funds in a slush pool and all the bureaucrats built mansions on the Hood Canal. All the School Principals received big pay raises and the lower end workers still paid for that dance.
    All of you tax lovers need to wise up…. Perhaps a cool dip in the sound could help you face reality that Libs want everyone else to fund their free ride.

  • Angel Tibbs

    Actually, I am concerned about the hundreds of small businesses in Washington that will be driven out of business by Inslee’s insane equating of vapor electronic cigarettes with the sin taxes tobacco cigarettes have justly earned. I called to tell his assistant so. Have been a lifelong Democrat, but their anti harm reduction push regarding e cigs is insane. And that was before I reviewed all of his other insane proposals. I still vote, but no longer as a Democrat. I can’t support insanity.

  • Angel Tibbs

    His anti harm reduction stance and insane desire to tax vapor products at the same sin tax rate tobacco cigarettes have justly earned, driving hundreds of small businesses in Washington State out of business, has caused me to vote against the Democrats for the first time in my 54 years of life as a Washington State resident. And that’s before I read his other daft proposals.

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