As a small business owner in Federal Way, I think we should thank State Sen. Tracey Eide (D-Federal Way) for her brave vote for a responsible budget proposal advanced in the state Senate recently.
You mentioned that she voted for the Senate’s version of the budget in the article “Senate passes budget with $1 billion for McCleary decision,” but I would like to add that Sen. Eide’s vote was cast in favor of working together in a bipartisan way to get something done and was a vote that will protect our economic recovery.
Unlike Gov. Inslee’s and the House budgets, the Senate budget funds our education system at the highest rate in years without increasing taxes on small businesses — the businesses that do most of the hiring in our community.
For example, the Senate budget does not include an extension of the 20 percent increase in the Business and Occupation (B&O) tax that passed in 2010, but was set to expire this year. Both the governor and the House want to make it permanent... to permanently increase taxes on struggling small businesses, already carrying a large portion of the taxes in Washington.
This B&O tax is one of the highest in the state and is on barbers, beauty salons, janitors, accountants, real estate agents and dozens more. They are businesses that are just starting to recover after the dreadful economic downturn. I know many in my industry who lost much or all of their business during the last several years. It was a wise decision on Sen. Eide’s part to vote for the budget that would encourage recovery so that these businesses can start hiring again.
The state Senate budget was approved by the Senate 30-18 because it culled votes from both sides of the aisle, a genuine bipartisan vote. And, leaders like Sen. Eide, a 17-year veteran of the state Legislature, should be commended for her courage to do what was best for the state and 30th District.
Although I know Sen. Eide’s office expressed reservations in the article about some cuts to programs, budget negotiations are not over and in the long run, I am sure she will not be sorry for the vote she cast to protect our state’s economic recovery. If our economy begins to thrive again everyone and everything — education, families, children, the homeless, the poor and our communities will greatly benefit.
Pam Ranch, Federal Way