Lowering property taxes, future K-12 work, & addressing consumer protection
May 9, 2018 | By Rep. Kristine Reeves
Voting for Lower Property Taxes
Our communities, your family and our economy deserve better than constant property tax increases. I voted NO to the property tax increase proposed by the Senate Republican’s last year in their education funding plan, because we can’t keep asking working families and property owners to bear the brunt of the costs. Schools need funding, but too many families are struggling to pay the bills right now and a property tax increase only hurts their already breaking budgets.
This year, I proudly voted YES to cutting property taxes for homeowners and voted YES to expanding the property tax exemption for seniors, those with disabilities, and veterans because being able to keep a roof over your head is the most basic component of building an economy that works for everyone. It’s why I will continue fighting for a tax system that puts working families first.
Next Steps in Education
With the task of increasing funding to meet our supreme court mandated basic education obligation, known as “McCleary” now likely complete, the Legislature must review and address other issues in our K-12 system. Two of those issues include special education funding and “regionalization.”
Regionalization is an attempt at addressing cost of living differences between school districts that are close to each other. Some districts are expensive to live and work in but can’t make up those cost of living differences. Regionalization bumps provide more funding to help schools address that issue. However, we know that regionalization factors created some unintended consequences for both the Federal Way and Auburn school district. It’s why I introduced a bill to try to resolve those issues for our schools and will keep fighting to make sure our teachers and students get a fair chance.
This year, I also voted to increase our funding for special education and increased mental health resources in schools.
So while we’ve met our McCleary obligation for the state to bear the brunt of education funding, with one of the most diverse districts in the state, is the formula working for us? Time will tell and I’m focused on hearing and learning from our local schools on how the Legislature’s plan is working for them.
Fighting Hackers and Protecting Consumers
Consumers are under attack more than ever. Unintentional data breaches, professional hackers, lax security policies…they all put your financial data at risk. That’s why it’s more important than ever for lawmakers to stand up for consumers.
This year, the Legislature passed a new law that makes credit freezes free when your data has been exposed to the data breaches. In the past, credit companies could require a fee to freeze credit. Freezing your credit is one of the best tools available to keep your financial future safe. So, why should you have to pay when a company puts your future at risk?
Lawmakers need to examine ways to require stricter security measures to protect consumers from hackers and data breaches. As a member of Business and Financial Services, the committee that regulates banks and insurance companies in our state, I’ve been committed to protecting you and consumers across our state from bad business practices that leave your data unprotected. As cybersecurity and data protection needs continue to increase, I look forward to continue the work of protecting your data next year.
On a final note, due to election year activity restrictions, this will be my last email until December. You can still contact my office and we will respond as soon as possible.