Washington Doesn't Need an Income Tax

Our state must meet obligations to its citizens including fully funding a top-tier education system, reducing traffic congestion, ensuring healthcare options, and protecting our beautiful environment. Legislators must communicate the value of these services so that voters are able to make informed decisions about which expenditures are worth supporting. Politicians have a responsibility to keep the public engaged about difficult issues.

 

Our legislature has two parties firmly digging in their heels and refusing to have productive conversations about how to raise enough revenue to meet these obligations.  Long-term success will depend on bipartisan collaboration – this will be crucial in finding a fair path toward reducing dependence on property taxes. 

 

I am opposed to a state income tax and capital gains tax. Every state that has passed a state income tax has seen quick expansion of that tax to include the middle class. So I believe a vote for any income tax will end up being a vote against middle class paychecks. We should look for realistic solutions for our real challenges.

 

I am opposed to an increase of business-and-occupations (B&O) taxes, and would support a reduction. An analysis of Washington’s tax systems shows Washington businesses pay 58% of all state and local taxes. We are fortunate to be in a thriving economy for the time being, but it won’t always be like this. Our tax policy should work during times of economic downturn as well.

 

I am proud to campaign as an individual who is fiscally responsible.  Our citizens bear a high tax burden.  These revenues allow us to plan better transportation, education, and health care systems.  With effort and scrutiny we will be able to live within our means, build and maintain a well-funded infrastructure, have diverse housing opportunities, and enhance our wonderful environment.

Car Tab Fees and Sound Transit

Car Tab Fees and Sound Transit

Like most of my neighbors, I support investing in transit to alleviate traffic congestion. When the Sound Transit 3 proposal was passed by a majority of voters last year, it was because so many of us share in this frustration - we want to spend more time at work and at home with our families and less time sitting in traffic.

But many were shocked at how much our car tabs went up this year. Part of the problem is an unfair formula that values our used cars at more than their actual value. The major problem is that Sound Transit misled voters about the cost to the average car owner.

We were told the typical car tab fees would only increase by $43 a year. Everyone was prepared for a slight increase in car tab fees, but voters were shocked by the reality Sound Transit was hiding. For some, car tab fees increased by several hundred dollars.

Legislators brought forth proposals in both the House and the Senate this year. Either proposal would bring some relief while maintaining the crucial funding necessary for transit projects to move forward.

My opponent, the appointed incumbent Senator, voted against relief for Eastside residents. Twice.

I disagree with her on those votes.

A recent survey shows that only 37% of voters would vote yes on Sound Transit’s ballot measure if they had the chance to vote today.

I wholeheartedly support transit and a multi-modal transportation system. I also support accountability for Sound Transit and the Department of Transportation. We must have the trust of taxpayers, and much of that trust has been lost.

If the legislature cannot come to a compromise that brings relief to car owners, I would support an elected - not appointed - Sound Transit Board.

Taking the Partisanship out of Health Care

Taking the Partisanship out of Health Care

I’ve spent my entire life as a scientist. I’m a laboratory physician, more comfortable behind a microscope making diagnoses than on a political stage.

So the current political environment that pits Republicans against Democrats and those who are fortunate against those who are struggling is both frustrating and sad. It goes against everything in my nature as a physician.

One of the big problems with the Affordable Health Care Act was that it was passed by one party with no input from the other party. Republicans and Democrats both have good points to offer on the health care debate, and we should all listen to each other.

While there were obvious shortcomings with the Affordable Health Care Act, the proposals we keep hearing about coming out of Washington D.C. would push us in the wrong direction. We must ensure  that we care for those who need our help, and not cut insurance and services for millions of Americans who now depend on these.

My approach to health care is simple: I want to bridge the two polarized sides and work toward our common goals of reducing the overall cost of care, providing a safety net for those who can’t afford it, and improving the quality of care within our resource constraints. We all want affordability and flexibility of choice, and these become achievable goals if we can overcome the partisan divide.

If elected, I will use my expertise in health care to bridge this partisan gap and work on behalf of patients, not the various special interest groups. In short, I will do what I have always done as a physician…put the patient first.