Should Washington’s tax system change?

Should Washington’s tax system change?

Many Washingtonians loathe the business and occupation (B&O) tax, and they’re not finished giving their thoughts on how to improve the state’s tax structure....
Fighting for future of farming

Fighting for future of farming

As the dust settles from the Nov. 6 election, members of Washington’s agricultural industry are preparing for next year’s legislative session and what they...
Time for a tax cut?

Time for a tax cut?

New tax revenue continues to pour into Washington state’s coffers, to the point where some government reform experts and state lawmakers say it’s time...
State treasurer opposes public bank

Treasurer opposes public bank

While a $500,00 state-funded study aims to create a proposal for a public state bank funded by taxes and fees, State Treasurer Duane Davidson...

Questions remain with AWC brief

Following the submittal of an amicus brief by the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) defending the city of Seattle’s authority to impose a local...
Voters reject carbon tax

Voters reject carbon tax

Washingtonians overwhelming rejected a proposed carbon tax via Initiative 1631 during Tuesday’s election – by a 56-44 percent margin. Despite numerous failed efforts to enact...
State revenue good, tariff impacts uncertain

State revenue good, tariff impacts uncertain

Washington state continues to receive surplus revenue, while the impact of new retaliatory tariffs on exports remains uncertain. That was the takeaway from the...
Voters approve local food tax ban

I-1634’s fight against local grocery taxes

For some backers of Initiative 1634, the measure is meant to prohibit local government from enacting soda taxes out of fear that ordinances like...
AWC defends Seattle’s income tax

AWC defends Seattle’s income tax

In a surprise move, the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) has filed an amicus brief to the State Supreme Court in defense of the...
How the state can invest in local growth

How the state can invest in local growth

Before business growth or new developments can occur in a city, port or county, the conditions on the ground have to be right. To...
Study estimates carbon tax costs

Study estimates carbon tax costs

When all’s said and done, a carbon fee proposed under Initiative 1631 would increase total costs for the average Washington household by $440 in...
K-12 budget proposal includes income tax

K-12 budget proposal includes income tax

Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal plans to submit an agency requested bill calling for a capital gains income tax to help pay for...
Shell game with carbon tax revenue

Shell game with carbon tax revenue

Although Initiative 1631 has been pushed by advocates as a $15 per-ton fee on carbon emitters in the state that would reduce emissions and...
Iron workers union opposes carbon tax

Iron workers union opposes carbon tax

Fears about the effect of a carbon tax on new job creation has prompted the Iron Workers District Council of the Pacific Northwest to...
SafeCo Field

King County tourism rocked by council plan

King County’s future tourism prospects took a hit when the county council elected to divert some of the lodging tax funding which was planned...
piggy bank

No capital gains tax “selling point” for Washington

Discussions of Washington’s tax structure often include accusations that it is one of the most regressive in the nation. While some tax experts dispute...
Treading lightly on tax reform

Treading lightly on tax reform

A state House work group has held public meetings this year to discuss problems with Washington’s tax structure and potential regulatory changes. While those...
Do carbon taxes work?

Do carbon taxes work?

A question some voters might have before voting on Initiative 1631 creating a $15-per-ton tax on carbon is whether it will actually work in...
Utilities warn of “pancaking” carbon proposals

Utilities warn of “pancaking” carbon proposals

Two eastern Washington public utility districts (PUD) have passed resolutions opposing Initiative I-1631 which creats a carbon tax on certain emitters, saying they are...
Washington’s latest economic outlook

Washington’s latest economic outlook

The latest update from the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) reports yet another surge of unanticipated revenue, much of that thanks to...
Truckers: Carbon tax will raise prices everywhere

Truckers: Carbon tax will raise prices everywhere

The proposed $15 per-ton carbon tax via Initiative 1631 is portrayed by supporters as a way to reduce pollution in Washington state by placing...
The price of a carbon tax

The price of a carbon tax

As the November election approaches, the state’s business association composed of 7,000 members representing 700,000 employees has come out against a proposed carbon tax...
Will State Supreme Court review Seattle’s income tax?

Will State Supreme Court review Seattle’s income tax?

With a King County Superior Court ruling last year against Seattle’s progressive income tax ordinance, the city is appealing in hopes that the State...
Does Washington’s tax structure need fixing?

Does Washington’s tax structure need fixing?

A series of public meetings hosted by a state House work group highlighted the frustrations residents and businesses have with Washington’s tax structure. However,...
Industry leaders decry Seattle’s priorities

Industry leaders decry Seattle’s priorities

While the death of the Seattle job tax following a City Council vote in June could be attributed to several causes – including its...
Businesses, analysts: carbon initiative will raise gas prices

Businesses, analysts: carbon initiative will raise gas prices

Proponents of a carbon reduction initiative this week filed the necessary signatures with the Secretary of State’s Office to place it on the November...
Retailers: Online sales tax ruling levels playing field

Retailers: Online sales tax ruling levels playing field

Last year, the Washington state legislature approved a law mandating that online retailers without a physical location in the state either remit or collect...
Worries linger over Washington’s economy growth

Worries linger over Washington’s economic growth

The city of Seattle’s short-lived head tax may be dead, but for some state officials a cloud of uncertainty still hangs over the long-term...
video

Lens Video: Head tax- Sending the right message to business

"It's not as if they (the Seattle City Council) had a change of mind, so I worry that we will see some other form of anti-growth, anti-jobs tax that will replace this one" -State Sen. Steve O'Ban (R-28)
Is ST3 car tab tax unconstitutional?

Is ST3 car tab tax unconstitutional?

A class action lawsuit recently filed against Sound Transit and Washington state by seven plaintiffs could answer the question already asked by some lawmakers...
Seattle businesses decapitate head tax

Seattle businesses decapitate head tax

Following a rowdy public comment period and unruly attendees, the Seattle City Council voted at a Tuesday special meeting to repeal the ordinance that...
Will Seattle job tax affect state economy?

Will Seattle job tax affect state economy?

If Seattle’s recently approved job tax survives a voter initiative backed by the local business community and possible legislative action, its direct impact on...

Preserving Washington’s prosperity

Eight years since Washington voters overwhelmingly rejected Initiative 1098 that would have created a progressive income tax, state revenue has grown from approximately $29...
The new ‘battle for Seattle’

The new ‘battle for Seattle’

It’s a fight where the battlefields are drawn by political jurisdictions, casualties are measured by lost economic output, and victories are determined by new...
Seattle's Original Starbucks

Head tax shows Seattle is “hostile” to business

The Seattle City Council’s unanimous passage of a business head tax sent ripples throughout the business community and economic development organizations who are sounding...
video

Lens Video: Seattle head tax-not just an Amazon tax

Lens asked Jan Gee, President and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association (WFIA), her opinion of the Seattle City Council voting unanimously to...
Employees helping at a grocery store check out line

Head tax passes despite business outcry

The Seattle City Council has unanimously approved its head tax proposal that will impose a significant penalty on Seattle’s largest businesses in the name...
video

Lens Video: Labor weighs in on proposed head tax

Lens attended the Seattle City Council's Finance and Neighborhoods public hearing and asked Chris McClain, Business Manager for Iron Workers Local Union 86, his...
Closing the lid on soda tax

Closing the lid on soda tax

As Seattle’s business community pushes back against a proposed head tax, a coalition of employers and workers unions wants to quarantine the city’s soda...
Wheat farmer standing in field

U.S. wheat industry: No Chinese tariffs

While China still negotiates potential tariffs on American imports, the U.S. wheat industry hopes the country will abandon the plan. If the tariffs are...
Aerial shot of Seattle

Seattle business leaders: tax scheme punishing to employment sector

On Apr. 21, the Seattle City Council unveiled its proposed business tax plan to raise $75 million for additional  affordable housing options and addressing...
video

Lens Video: Washington’s trade future

Lens sat down with Lori Otto Punke, President of the Washington Council on International Trade, to discuss what Washington state industries reliant on global...
App demand for road user charge fee

App demand for road user charge fee

One planned feature of the Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) ongoing road user charge (RUC) pilot program is obtaining frequent participant feedback on their...
The cost of McCleary compliance

The cost of McCleary compliance

With another billion in new basic education spending for teacher salaries included in the 2018 supplemental budget by the state legislature this session, lawmakers...
How healthy is Washington’s manufacturing industry?

How healthy is Washington’s manufacturing industry?

Of recent interest to both state lawmakers and the business community is the health of Washington’s manufacturing industry. Since 2000, the sector has shrunk...
Washington’s B&O tax ‘injustice’

Washington’s B&O tax ‘injustice’

This year’s legislative session ended without a reduced business and occupation (B&O) rate for manufacturers, a major priority for the state business community. The...
Treasurer warns of raiding rainy day fund

Treasurer warns of raiding rainy day fund

Washington state is expected to receive billions in unexpected revenue in the 2017-19 biennium, and the legislature’s intent via the 2018 supplemental operating budget...
Truckers oppose road mileage charge

Truckers oppose road mileage charge

Washington state is conducting a road user charge (RUC) fee pilot program to test different ways drivers might one day track and pay a...
Roadmap for Sound Transit future

Roadmap for Sound Transit future

Puget Sound drivers who want a reduced ST3 car tab tax may have to get as loud as the Seahawks stadium at gametime if...
Supplemental budget tax-free, no B&O relief

Supplemental budget tax-free, no B&O relief

The Washington legislature has agreed to a supplemental operating budget for the 2017-19 biennium that does not include new taxes as originally proposed in...
The cost of a property tax cut

The cost of a property tax cut

Washingtonians could get a state property tax rate reduction next year, but it may cost them more than they want to pay. After debating the...
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