Washington Gov. Inslee Rated Worst On Taxing/Spending
According to libertarian think tank the Cato Institute, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ranks dead last among the nation's governors when it comes to taxing and spending.
After analyzing seven taxing and spending variables, Inslee received a score of 23 out of a possible 100 for an "F" grade. New Mexico's Susana Martinez got the best rating of 73, conversely.
In summary, here are their notes on Gov. Inslee:
"Governor Jay Inslee is the worst-scoring governor on this report card. His appetite for tax and spending increases has been insatiable. Inslee has pushed relentlessly for tax increases. He originally campaigned on a promise not to raise taxes, but he proposed more than $1 billion in higher taxes in his first budget in 2013. In2014, he proposed a new tax on capital gains and increases in cigarette taxes and other taxes. In2015, he approved a gas tax increase as well as higher taxes on businesses.
In 2016, he proposed broadening the bases of various taxes to raise funding for education. In his budget for the 2017–2019 biennium, Inslee proposed increasing the state’s business and occupation tax rate to raise more than $1.1 billion a year, creating a new capital gains tax of 427.9 percent to raise more than $800 million a year, and creating a carbon tax to raise more than $900 million a year.202 Most of his proposed tax hikes did not make it through the legislature, but Inslee did sign into law an increase in the state property tax and online sales tax to raise $1.5 billion annually. He also vetoed legislation to reduce the business and occupation tax rate. Inslee has continued to advocate for a carbon tax even though the idea has been rejected by both the state legislature and Washington’s voters. In November 2016, voters rejected a carbon tax (Initiative 732) by a solid 59 –41 margin. But in the wake of that defeat, Inslee has continued to push for such a tax; his latest plan is designed to raise at least $750 million in its first year and growing amounts after that. So far, the plan has failed to pass the legislature. Carbon-tax supporters keep trying, and they have put another scheme on the ballot for November 2018. Voters will decide on Initiative 1631 whether to impose a new tax on carbon emissions to raise about $800 million a year by 2027.205 The tax would be collected from various industries, although the plan exempts certain politically favored industries. Inslee scores poorly on spending in this report. The current biennial general fund budget is up 17 percent over the prior budget. State government employment has risen more than 7 percent since Inslee took office."