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State Sen. Doug Erickson, carbon tax, whatcom county
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Sen. Ericksen: Carbon tax could lead to a Washington income tax

State Sen. Doug Ericksen. (AP)
LISTEN: Senator Doug Ericksen is ticked off by John Kerry's visit to Olympia

State Senator Doug Ericksen says that Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s proposed carbon tax is about much more than the environment and industry. He argues that it’s part of Democrats’ long-term strategy to implement a state income tax.

RELATED: Inslee’s carbon tax sales pitch

“You are definitely seeing the pressure being applied for those tax increases that hit working families the hardest,” Ericksen told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “Whether it be the gas tax, this new energy tax, the property taxes — they are hitting middle income the hardest. The problem is that most people understand you have to pay some taxes … but the more people you tax out of their homes and the more people you tax out of their cars, they are going to start thinking differently about the income tax.”

“So I do believe this is a long-term strategy of the Democrats to get the income tax,” he added. “Which is what they consider the Holy Grail of politics.”

Kerry hypes the carbon tax

Ericksen’s comments came the day after Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Olympia and promoted the carbon tax.

“The way they are looking at doing it is really helpful to rural Washington,” Kerry said Tuesday. “It is helpful to those people who are economically challenged, who are at the lower end of the economic ladder and struggling to get into the middle class. Because it sets aside help for those folks to be able to transition.”

Photos: John Kerry visits Olympia

But Ericksen views the bill differently and argues against Kerry’s perspective.

“It was quite the exciting day of pomp and circumstance in Olympia yesterday,” Ericksen said. “I thought it was amazing; here you have a multi-millionaire from the other Washington flying out to Washington state to advocate for a massive tax increase on working families. And the kicker — he probably flew in on a private jet, and that private jet would be exempt from paying the energy tax that Jay Inslee is trying to make working families pay when they drive their kids to school.”

“If you go read Governor Inslee’s bill, it has specific sections in there saying we have to go out and mitigate the damage that will be done to manufacturing and low-income people,” he said.  “So specifically in the bill, it highlights that there will be disproportionate impacts that will hit manufacturers and low-income people the hardest. That’s why they try to create all these programs to … give them money to make their bills lower. But it’s a complicated system and it won’t work very well.”

Hear Dori’s full interview with Sen. Ericksen here.

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