Budget & Taxes

A budget is where priorities meet realities. At least that's how it should work.

The problem with government is that it gets to write the rules--about tax rates, fees, and even what counts as a balanced budget. That makes it easy for politicians to pretend everything is a priority and every moment a crisis demanding greater sacrifice from taxpayers.

The Freedom Foundation is a tireless voice for priority-based budgeting in state and local government. We work with responsible policymakers to craft sound, balanced budgets. We expose irresponsibility and gimmicks. We helped launch performance audits in Washington State as well as the model for health savings accounts eventually adopted into federal law.

We work with elected officials and citizens to make government budget writing transparent and to focus it on real priorities, cutting spending on programs that are unnecessary, counterproductive or unconstitutional.

The principles are pretty simple: taxes should be as low, simple, and fair as possible and budgets should be balanced.

Special Session

Get all the latest news and unbiased information from this year's special session. Can our legislators figure out the budget deficit? Are we destined to return to this same problem every few months?

Get the Facts on Initiative 1183

We are highlighting the facts about each 2011 ballot measure every day this week. Before you cast your vote, make sure you get the facts about I-1183.

Informed Voter Guide 2011

It can be tricky to make the right decision when it comes to voting on an initiative. More often than not you don't have enough information to make a confident choice either way. But now you can get the unbiased facts about the 2011 Washington initiatives by reading our Initiative Guide!

State Budget

Get all the latest budget news, analysis and happenings here. The development of this year's budget is bound to be a fight, and the Freedom Foundation stands squarely in the taxpayer's corner. We get dirty so you don't have to.

Financing Pensions

This proposal essentially lures money from private-sector workers and companies into the bankrupt state pension systems. Our state and local government pension systems are already heading toward bankruptcy.

So tell me again why we're doing this'

A fascinating exchange during a recent select committee hearing in Olympia offers an insight into how things get done -- or not -- in the Legislature

McKenna understands the difference between an increase and a shortfall. Do his critics'

Unless revenue projections for the next biennium fall below $28.2 billion, we'll still wind up collecting more revenue than the state ever has. How is that a shortfall?

Washington has nation's highest minimum wage -- and youth unemployment soars because of it

The numbers prove what your gut should tell you -- when you increase the cost of hiring workers, fewer workers are going to be hired.

68 Washington public agencies and municipalities fail to report lobbying expenses

OLYMPIA—Today the Evergreen Freedom Foundation filed complaints with the Public Disclosure Commission against 68 public entities for either improperly reporting lobbying expenses or failing to report them altogether, based on discrepancies between expenditure reports filed by lobbyists and those filed by public agencies. Most of the agencies are cities, counties, ports and utility districts.

EFF sues to obtain public employee drug and alcohol test results

Do you think members of the public have a right to know if public employees piloting state ferries are under the influence of drugs or alcohol? We do. Do you think the Department of Transportation (DOT) should use a federal administrative rule to avoid our state public records law? We don’t.

Governor hides hundreds of documents, claiming 'executive privilege'

Is Governor Chris Gregoire constitutionally entitled to keep secrets from you? She thinks so. The state Public Records Act mandates that all public records held by government agencies are to be available to the public, unless the record is specifically exempted from disclosure by law.

Activists Hold Anti-Tax, Anti-Union Rally At Wash. Capitol

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Tea Party and other conservative voices took over the steps of the Washington statehouse Friday. Turnout for the so-called "Tax Day" rally was much smaller than last Friday's large union-backed event in the same location.

Val-Pak Publishers to Pay Higher Tax Rate

This week at the Supreme Court - Val-Pak Publishers to Pay Higher Tax Rate

Amber Gunn details problems with ailing state pension system

Guest Amber Gunn of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation details problems with ailing state pension system. Dori takes calls on the atheist bus cards that attack Christianity and particularly Christmas.

Latest Blog Post

April 11, 2014

5 Facts about Education Funding

Here are five key education funding facts to put you in the know about the state's most expensive program.
March 19, 2014

With Oregon’s inaction, CRC boondoggle dead — for now

It isn’t very often in politics you wind up with an unquestionably positive outcome, but this comes pretty close.