Tom votes against Democrat's tax bill

Sen. Rodney Tom - Courtesy photo
Sen. Rodney Tom
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Saying the Legislature hasn’t done enough to reform government, Sen. Rodney Tom (D-Bellevue) last Sunday voted against an $805 million revenue bill being used to support the Senate’s plan to re-balance the state budget.

Senate Bill 6143, prepared by the Democrats, was ultimately approved 25-23 and sent to the House.

It would close more than a dozen tax preferences and temporarily raise the state sales tax, make the sales tax apply to bottled water and increase the state’s business and occupation tax on service businesses.

Tom argued the tax package is too big and the underlying budget still leaves the state in the liquor, printing and landscaping businesses — activities better left to the private sector.

“The inclusion of a sales tax is really harmful on an economy that is struggling to recover,” Tom said.

“I think what we need to do is step back and really focus on the core elements of government,” Tom said. “There is a place for government. But I think the mistake we make is we try to be mediocre at everything instead of being excellent at a couple core elements where government really does have a function.”

“I think we can do better,” he said.

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