What tax reform means for Washington

Our goal was more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks, and between tax reform and regulatory relief, the pro-family, pro-growth Republican agenda is delivering. And we hear the good news everywhere we go — even in districts represented by Democrats, all of whom voted against this relief.

Washington state may be home to a city council trying to tax anyone and anything, but it’s also home to several businesses who demonstrate what’s possible if families, workers, and business owners are able to keep more of their hard-earned money. Check it out:

Starbucks Announces New Investments in Paid Leave, Wage

Premera pledges $250M of tax cut to health coverage, charity

INB Plans to Share Corporate Tax Savings with Staff

These are only a few of the ways Washingtonians are benefiting from tax reform. Here, House Republicans from the Evergreen State share even more ↓ and be sure to check out FairandSimple.gop.

House GOP Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers

“So often policy becomes about the numbers. And these are great numbers and we are proud of these numbers. But now I would like to focus a little bit more on what tax reform means, focus on why it matters. The ‘why’ is the real people in Eastern Washington, hardworking men and women in Eastern Washington and all across this country who now have the opportunity for a better life, thanks to this pro-growth policy.

“For weeks now, my colleagues have come to the House floor to share stories of small businesses that are expanding, moms and dads that can spend more time with their children, families taking vacations together for the first time, and so many more stories. Those stories are the same stories that I hear in Eastern Washington.

“A few weeks ago, I was talking with a family in Spokane, Washington, and they told me that they are seeing $400 more a month in take-home pay. They are grateful for that extra cushion because their daughter is living with a disability and, given her needs, they never know what the expenses may be. With nearly 5,000 more dollars in their pocket this year, they are more confident about the future and their ability to care for her.

“I also met a dad who manages the Starbucks in downtown Spokane. He was so excited about the announcement of bigger paychecks, more take-home pay, better benefits, because he had just had a son. He and his wife had just given birth four months earlier, and he was so hopeful about this future.

“When the withholding tables changed in February, I received a call in my office from a woman who could barely speak because she was so excited about what an extra $40 in her paycheck was going to mean for her. And I quote her: ‘I just got my paycheck for the first time, and I am getting $47.98 more than I did in the past, which is about $1,200 more a year. For me, they are not crumbs. It’s more money to help me put food on the table. I’m so happy, I wanted to tell everybody, the whole world, that these tax cuts work.’

“So to some, these may be crumbs, but to hardworking men and women, it makes a difference in being able to support their families. I had another person contact my office thinking that their H.R. system had glitched when they saw $100 more in their paycheck, and he said: ‘For me this will be $2,400 a year. That’s real money, to buy groceries, fill the car up with gas, or take the family on a weekend trip.’

“Tax reform is changing lives and, despite all the good, all these milestones and positive headlines, our colleagues across the aisle still voted ‘no,’ and worse, they now are wanting to take it away.

“For working moms and dads, we doubled the child tax credit, preserved the adoption tax credit, expanded 529 accounts to help with the cost of raising children. For moms like me who are raising a child with a disability, I was proud to get my ABLE 2.0 provisions included so that now a child with disabilities can go explore work, find a job, and take those earnings and put them into their ABLE account. ABLE to Work is going to allow individuals to save more of their own money, maybe go get an internship or a part-time job.

“My ABLE Financial Planning Act will allow families of those with disabilities to roll over funds from a child’s savings account to an ABLE account if their child becomes disabled. These provisions are going to help families who have children with disabilities live full and independent lives, and I was proud to be a part of that.

“For the millions of women who recently received a pay increase, including entry-level employees at Wheatland Bank in Spokane, Washington, they can now invest more of what they earn in their pay for their education, retirement, everyday expenses to travel and chase their dreams.

“In fact, more than 600 companies have passed down benefits from tax reform to their employees. For people and small-business owners in my district, this means real relief. 90 percent of people are seeing more money in their pocket every month. For the average family of four, it is $2,000 a year. These are real stories from real people who are benefiting, and we are just getting started.”

Rep. Dave Reichert

“Mr. Speaker, Friday marked six months since the tax reform bill was signed into law. Since that time, we have seen increased paychecks, greater investment, and new job opportunities across the country.

“My colleagues and I on the House Ways and Means Committee talked about how best to overhaul our tax code. Our goal was always the same: to get our economy booming again. In Washington state, where I am from, we are already seeing this boom and the positive impacts of tax reform: employee bonuses, savings on utilities, increased wages, and 401(k) matches.

“They are people like a young woman in Seattle, for example, who was able to afford a new car, thanks to some extra money in her paycheck each month; or, the mother from Woodinville, Washington, who has been helping her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchild make ends meet while they were living paycheck to paycheck. With tax reform, her son is now taking home more money, which helps them provide for their family much easier.

“Tax reform is not only resulting in more take-home pay, but it is making a difference in the workplace, too. Companies are creating new retail and manufacturing jobs and increasing wages and benefits. The Boeing Company is increasing investments in workforce development, facilities and infrastructure improvements for employees, and charitable giving.

“But it is not just the employees of big companies who are seeing the benefits. Our local, family-owned businesses are seeing lots of good come from this new tax code. Another example is a delivery driver from Kent, Washington, who works for one of these small, local companies. He shared that just two weeks after the tax reform bill passed, his boss gave everyone in that company a raise. These are encouraging stories from real people living real lives across Washington State. They are hardworking people who see substantial benefits, thanks to tax reform.”

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in The Daily News: Believe it or not, there’s a reason to celebrate

When I entered Congress eight years ago, we were in the worst economic times our country has seen in decades. People were losing their homes and their jobs. Cowlitz County was particularly hit hard. To this day, wages have failed to keep up with the cost of paying the bills and making the mortgage.

Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to help improve this situation. Our goal was to let individuals and families keep more of their money, and to jumpstart economic growth that America so desperately needs.

A few weeks ago, I visited Northwest Motor Services in Longview – a local business that employs 33 people and repairs industrial motors for factories and industrial facilities. Their outlook on new opportunities was far more optimistic than what I’ve heard from local employers in years. They’d just given their employees raises, and were excited about additional business that may stem from tax cut-driven economic growth – and hiring more people as a result.

This single Longview business isn’t unique. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the tax cuts Congress passed in December will spur the U.S. economy to grow even faster than originally predicted – 3.3% next year, which is the most growth in 14 years. The CBO expects $1 trillion more in revenue than it did pre-tax cuts.

Additionally, more than 4 million Americans are receiving more than $4 billion in bonuses and benefits from employers who directly credit the savings from the tax cuts. Washington’s nonpartisan chief economist is predicting our state will see 20,000 new jobs as a result of the tax cuts.

But my focus has always been on Southwest Washington specifically. I wanted to make sure people here were seeing the benefits of tax cuts. Here’s a small sample of what I’ve heard:

Randy from Longview and Jonathan from Kelso both work for Home Depot and were excited to receive a bonus check and a pay raise because of the federal tax cuts.

William from Castle Rock told me he’s getting almost $200 more every two weeks. David from Longview said he’s using the extra money to make some improvements in his life “that are making all the difference.” Other folks told me they’re using the extra money to help cover day care costs, add to their child’s college savings account, and buy healthy groceries (which are always more expensive!).

Rita from Longview recently wrote to me: “I am keeping more of my paycheck versus paying it on federal tax. Almost $100 more every paycheck. We work for our money; why should we not be allowed to keep more of it? As well, it will stimulate the economy more because people will have more money to spend.”

Full Op-ed

Rep. Dan Newhouse

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today, proud to share a snapshot of rising wages, more jobs, and increasing opportunity in the Fourth Congressional District of Washington, which I have the distinct pleasure of representing.

“In the city of Yakima, unemployment is at 5.5 percent, as reported in April by the Washington Employment Security Department. That number is reportedly the lowest it has been for that month since electronic reporting began in 1990. Yakima County is the most populous county in central Washington and had a May unemployment rate at 6.0 percent, which is the lowest rate in decades.

“In another major population center in Washington, the Tri-Cities, unemployment was at 5.2 percent in May. Wages in the Tri-Cities area are up 3.8 percent over 2017 and are among the fastest growing in the State. The latest jobs report showed decreasing unemployment rates across my district in every single county, with Okanogan at 6.3 percent; Grant, 6.1; Franklin, 5.5; Douglas at 5.2; Benton at 5.1; Adams at 4.8; and Walla Walla at 4.3.

“New jobs in construction, food manufacturing, and professional business services are largely driving the regional growth in the labor force. These numbers are more than just statistics, Mr. Speaker. Increasing employment opportunities mean families can provide a more secure future for their children. Graduating students are able to choose from more options after graduation.

“My constituents deserve a federal government whose policies foster this kind of growth through lower taxes and smarter regulation. We should encourage entrepreneurs by helping, not hurting, growth. Since tax reform was made law, local businesses in my district, such as Irwin Research & Development and Abbott’s Printing in Yakima, have expressed optimism at the prospect of increasing investment and giving earnings to workers rather than the federal government.

“The ability of businesses to write off the full value of equipment and other assets will help Buhrmaster Baking Company in Yakima plan for equipment upgrades. Chukar Cherries in Prosser has announced a $1.8 million, 12,000-square-foot expansion, in large part due to tax reform. Cacchiotti Orthodontics announced hourly raises for their Moses Lake employees thanks to tax reform.

“Pacific Power, which serves Yakima County, announced that it will pass tax reform savings on to its ratepayers. Washington Federal, with branches in Moses Lake and Quincy, announced 5 percent merit-based increases in wages for all employees earning less than $100,000, as well as an investment in employee training programs.

“Pacific Northwest companies such as Alaska Airlines, Costco, Boeing, Premera Blue Cross, and Starbucks have announced millions in increased benefits, raises, employee education, and nonprofit donations. To sum it all up, central Washington’s economy is experiencing growth, and that is good news for workers and for their families. I will continue to work on behalf of my constituents to promote economic opportunity, and I am proud that this tax reform is working as it was promised to work.”