As most of you know I have endorsed Sen. Baxter's campaign for Senate. I now want to personally congratulate and thank him for signing the Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge." He is one of only 3 (out of 49) sitting Senators (including my longtime friend and hero Sen. Val Stevens) who had the courage to take the pledge to "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes." You can see his name and the pledge here s3.amazonaws.com/atrfiles/files/files/State%20Taxp...11(22).pdf.
Unfortunately, some are scurrilously trying to characterize Jeff's support of restructuring the transportation tax system as a tax increase. Nothing could be further from the truth. I along with many of you believe that the transportation tax system must be reformed just like the B&O tax system. The ATR website specifically states that such reform is not a tax increase here www.atr.org/userfiles/file/StatePledgeQ&A.pdf.
More specifically, it appears Sen. Baxter is being condemned for his support of my tax reform amendment H-Amd 455 to the House Transportation Budget which you can read here apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2011-12/Pdf/Ame...1.pdf. This is not a tax increase. To the contrary it provides no more than a 15% refund of fuel taxes to Indian Tribes as it was prior to 2007 (currently it is upward of 75%), and limits the use of those funds to highway purposes (according to 18th Amendment to the Washington State Constitution). Komo News exposed the lack of transparency regarding, and misuse of, tribal fuel tax money in their "What a Waste Series" here www.komonews.com/news/problemsolvers/121371074.htm...video This tax reform would redirect over $250 million dollars over 10 years to other road projects throughout the state like the North-South Freeway.
That is true tax reform and that is why I continue to wholeheartedly support Senator Jeff Baxter.
Matthew T. Shea