Rep. Jim Walsh urges Legislature to embrace people’s voice as Initiative 2109 successfully completes certification

Washington’s State Secretary of State (SOS) has officially informed the Legislature that the signature verification process and certification for Initiative 2109 have been successfully completed. This initiative aims to repeal the capital gains income tax approved by the Legislature’s majority Democrats in 2021.

Rep. Jim WalshR-Aberdeen, sponsor and author of the initiative, released the following statement regarding its introduction to the Legislature:

“Washington has a long tradition, both legal and cultural, of prohibiting a state income tax. This tradition reflects the common-sense principle that a state tax on capital gains is a type of state income tax. The enthusiastic support that the people of Washington have given Initiative 2109, which repeals the state’s recently passed capital gains tax, reflects both this tradition and principle.

“Every other state that has a capital gains tax considers it an income tax. The federal government considers the capital gains tax an income tax. Our state Supreme Court wrote an eccentric opinion saying otherwise and the US Supreme Court said the people of WA must fix that mess ourselves. With I-2109, the people are fixing it.

“Critics may lazily — and falsely — argue that I-2109 benefits only a few ‘rich’ people. However, the truth is that it benefits everyone in Washington. Our state’s economic and technological growth hub status has been attributed to the absence of a capital gains income tax, fostering job creation and generating tens of billions of dollars in wealth. It’s a shame to discard that advantage. I-2109 aims to restore it, protecting our competitive edge.

“I-2109 is the voice of the people. It follows their longstanding opposition to excessive taxation. Right now, in 2024, the people of Washington are overtaxed. I-2109 lightens our tax burdens in a way that’s consistent with our state Constitution’s Article VII description of good tax policy.

“I urge my colleagues in Olympia to heed the voice of the people and vote I-2109 into law before the end of this legislative session.”

In addition to I-2109, the SOS has certified three additional initiatives: I-2117, targeting the repeal of the Climate Commitment Act (CCA), and I-2113, seeking to restore the authority of police officers to pursue when there is reasonable suspicion of a law violation; and I-2081, a parents’ bill of rights.

The Legislature can choose to adopt the initiatives as presented, turning them into law without ballot placement. Alternatively, they can reject or refrain from acting on the initiatives, resulting in their inclusion on the ballot in the next general election. Another option is for the Legislature to propose an alternative bill on the same subject. In such a scenario, both measures would appear on the ballot.

The 60-day 2024 legislative session began on Monday, Jan. 8, and will conclude on March 7.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov