Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960

 

By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

Senate bill 6841 could mean higher prices on everything

 

February 8, 2010



The reason I first heard about Senate Bill 6841 is because it directly affects the way newspapers do business. Of course, this got my interest perked up and so I decided to delve into it a little deeper. The bill was very eye opening, to say the least.

This 21-page bill, sometimes called the revenue bill, was first read in the Washington State Senate last Thursday where they directly referred it to the Ways and Means Committee.

Senators Keiser, Rockefeller, Fairley, Fraser, McDermott, Kohl-Welles and Kline are all sponsors of this bill and as far as I can see, the passing of this bill will cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

SB6841 requires additional taxes to pretty much every type of business out there. Everything from sewer, electricity, manufacturing, airplanes, fish, hospitals, even timber and the list goes on and on.

Do we really believe that companies will, or are even able to eat those extra taxes? Of course, those costs will come back to the consumer in higher rates and additional fees.

Yes, the state is in a financial crisis, but so are most of the people living in it. How does raising costs on everyday bills and services help those of us just trying to survive?

What I would like to see are special interest groups and their projects told no and government cutbacks on salaries, benefits, etc. before asking citizens to pay for increased taxes on almost every good and service imaginable.

Doesn’t the state want to keep companies like Boeing and Weyerhauser around? Not to mention small businesses who will be greatly affected if this bill passes?

Here is one example of a tax that can be a huge burden on small businesses.

They want to tax travel agents, who are already hurting because of the internet and also the recession, .275 percent of their gross income –– not their net income, after they pay all of their overhead and employees.

If it does pass, it will take effect on Jan. 31, 2013. I’m sure companies will start preparing for the tax increase much earlier than that by raising rates and costs as soon as possible.

We should all consider what it will take to pull our state out of this recession and taxing businesses even more than they are already taxed, only takes money from their pockets.

We need companies to be in a position to hire more employees and this bill does nothing to make this happen.

I implore you to take a look at this bill and let your senators and representatives know how you feel about it.

Go to the Washington State Legislature website to read the bill in its entirety.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/

 

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