We at the League of Women Voters of Thurston County commend The Olympian for its coverage of the 2015-17 budget proposals being considered by the state Legislature. Like The Olympian, we applaud the House for going further than the governor and Senate in proposing new revenue for education and other critical state services. We are very concerned about the Senate’s failure to fund already negotiated state employee union contracts and raiding of funds designated for health, parks, and local infrastructure such as sewer and water projects.
However, we believe none of the proposed budgets go far enough in improving the fairness of our tax system and addressing revenue shortfalls in education and other services. Our current state tax system is unfair, with taxes falling disproportionately on lower-income residents as compared to the more affluent. And the Supreme Court is expected to review the Legislature’s compliance with the McCleary decision (ample state funding for education). We urge the Legislature to do better than any of the proposed budgets in raising revenue and closing tax loopholes.
Now is the time to work quickly to enact a budget that is fair and adequately funds education and other services.
Karen Tvedt – secretary, LWV of Thurston County