Aren’t we all tired of elected officials telling us what to do without any understanding of the consequences? Enough is enough. It’s time to tell elected officials in the State of Washington they shouldn’t start a trade war with Idahoans — not now, not ever.
The Democrats in charge of Washington’s Legislature are fast-tracking a bill that would impose a 6-cent-per-gallon tax on all gasoline, diesel and jet fuel destined for Idaho. Rather than looking to their budget surplus or their own constituents to fund needed infrastructure, Democrat Washington lawmakers want us to pay more on the gas we need, just to help them pay their own bills.
In Idaho, we just passed the largest tax cut in state history and are returning $600 million to the rightful owners — the people of Idaho. Idahoans already pay a variety of taxes — income tax, sales tax, property tax, business tax and more. The taxes we pay in our state provide funds for important things the citizens of Idaho value: schools, roads, law enforcement, first responders. But the state taxes we pay are for Idaho and they are spent on what we decide is best. We shouldn’t have to pay taxes to Washington state to help fund their government. That’s not how things work in America.
This first-of-its-kind export tax on fuel will be added to the cost of any fuel that is refined in or travels through Washington to Idaho. Since much of the fuel used in Idaho comes from refineries in Puget Sound — and most of it travels in pipelines through Washington on its way to Idaho — Idahoans can expect to pay more at the pump.
This problem wasn’t created by our friends and neighbors in the State of Washington. Blame this on the Democrat policymakers in that state and their willingness to jam through their agenda without concerns for what this means for our region. This is simply political greed that could very well initiate a trade war with us and other Western states. This isn’t how America works — as a matter of fact, I’m not even sure this ridiculous plan is constitutional. But I do know that it’s just plain wrong, and I know we will be taking any and all measures to block this taxing scheme. The Idaho Legislature and Governor Brad Little are stepping in right now to tell Washington state NO!
We are all tired of politicians overstepping their authority — and the power to tax is one of the most dangerous. Imposing state taxes on another state is wrong and potentially dangerous to our nation. This taxation without representation scheme coming out of Olympia must be stopped.
— Scott Bedke is the Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives.