Housing In Seattle-King County Is "Severely Unaffordable": Here's Why

Housing In Seattle-King County Is “Severely Unaffordable”: Here’s Why

Many words are spilled by government and advocates about the need to make housing more affordable in Seattle and King County. Special fees are...
A Big Dust-Up Is Coming On The New Washington State Clean Air Rule, And Soon

A Big Dust-Up Is Coming On The New Washington State Clean Air Rule, And...

It's easy enough to blanch at the thought of a pulp and paper mill. It's a little harder to imagine life without the toilet...
Second Real Estate Excise Tax Would Hurt Housing Affordability

Second Real Estate Excise Tax Would Hurt Housing Affordability

A cascade of reports and analyses have already established that Washington State's Growth Management Act and its implementation locally drives up housing costs in Seattle...
Growth Rules Stymie New Schools Needed To Relieve Crowdingvideo

Rumblings Grow On Minimum Wage

Sometimes there's a price for feeling good about yourself, says Larry Stewart. He's Executive Director of the Washington Association of Neighborhood Stores, which represents...
It's Only A Matter Of Time Before Washington State's Growth Management Act Gets A Well-Deserved Overhaul

It’s Only A Matter Of Time Before Washington State’s Growth Management Act Gets A...

In this off-year supplemental budget session few major policy reforms or new budget paradigms were expected to gain traction in the Washington state legislature....
Growth Rules Stymie New Schools Needed To Relieve Crowding

Growth Rules Stymie New Schools Needed To Relieve Crowding

Tom Seigel has a problem. As Superintendent of the Bethel School District in Pierce County, he's got three high schools bursting at the seams...
Overtime Session Foreshadows An Even Bigger Budget Challenge In 2017

Overtime Session Foreshadows An Even Bigger Budget Challenge In 2017

As the state Legislature heads into a special session to conclude negotiations on mid-course adjustments to the $38 billion 2015-2017 state budget, some lawmakers...
Economic Lubricants Would Get Blow-Dried

Economic Lubricants Would Get Blow-Dried

Where one may see a tax preference, another may construe a tax incentive. Washington retailers, distributors, service providers and financial institutions through current state tax...
(A) There's Movement On Budget Stalemate, As Special Session Opens Monday

There’s Movement On Budget Stalemate, As Special Session Opens Monday

Introduced Friday on the first day of an overtime session, Washington State Senate Republicans’ new supplemental budget proposal includes $145 million more in spending...
Planners should rethink growth strategies, says Strong Towns advocate

Planners should rethink growth strategies, says Strong Towns advocate

By 2040, Washington state is estimated to have a population of almost 9 million residents; that’s an increase of 1.4 million from its current...
Is income “property” in Washington state?

Is income “property” in Washington state?

For more than 80 years the Washington state Supreme court has ruled that income is property as defined by the Washington state constitution, which...
Effort underway to restore previous real estate excise tax rate

Effort underway to restore previous real estate excise tax rate

The state legislature last year restructured the state real estate excise tax (REET) from a flat 1.28 percent rate to a graduated rate, with...
Stakeholders: Wildfire premobilization bill need adjustment

Stakeholders: Wildfire premobilization bill need adjustment

A bill that would allow premobilization of state resources to local wildfire incidents cleared the state House unanimously on Feb. 18. Now, some stakeholders...
Analyst: Tax relief can help Washington businesses, consumers

Analyst: Tax relief can help Washington businesses, consumers

The COVID-19 response by the state of Washington has both small and large businesses taking a hit. However, Washington may be relatively well-positioned to...
Commuting in a post COVID-19 world

Commuting in a post COVID-19 world

The temporary shutdown of businesses and the forced telecommuting implemented by major employers in the central Puget Sound region has resulted in a tremendous...
Job Training, Social Programs Are Next Frontier In Public-Private Partnerships

Job Training, Social Programs Are Next Frontier In Public-Private Partnerships

When you hear the phrase "public-private partnership" what's apt to come to mind is a contentious public debate about a toll road to be...
Prescribing Good Medicine For A Troubled Healthcare System, In Both Washingtons

Prescribing Good Medicine For A Troubled Healthcare System, In Both Washingtons

Although the percent of Washingtonians without health insurance has dropped from 14.5 percent in 2012 to 7.3 percent in 2014, simply finding coverage isn’t...
Seattle Getting Granular About Work, Again

Seattle Set To Micromanage Private Sector Work Scheduling; Employers Alarmed

In a move that could inspire similar legislation in other cities nationwide, the Seattle City Council “secure scheduling” ordinance is likely to pass Monday...
K-12 Task Force Stuck, But It's Early Innings

K-12 Task Force Stuck, But It’s Early Innings

As the 2017 biennial budget session of the Washington legislature opened Monday, January 9, all eyes were on the Joint Education Funding Task Force. Under a law passed in 2016, it...
utreach Efforts For A Skilled Workforce

Bolstering Industry Outreach Efforts For A Skilled Workforce

As part of a national survey last fall, Washington state's construction sector businesses reported a strong need for recruiting skilled workers for hourly craft jobs....
Debate Continues Over Proposed Property Tax Hikes

Debate Continues Over Proposed Property Tax Hikes

Although state budget negotiations are at a standstill in Olympia, debate over legislative proposals to repeal the state’s property tax restriction on counties has...

Proposed road user charge program faces uphill battle

The Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) road user charge (RUC) pilot program is scheduled to begin next year. WSTC officials hope to get 2,000...
Camas mill closure the “canary in the coal mine”?

Camas mill closure the “canary in the coal mine”?

An Atlanta-based pulp and paper company announced this week its plans to close a Southwest Washington pulp mill that has operated since before Washington’s...
Semi truck on highway

Electronic monitoring levels economic playing field

A recent Congressional mandate has instituted the use of electronic devices to ensure truckers throughout the country comply with rules that regulate the hours...
Net neutrality bill could face legal “throttling”

Net neutrality bill could face legal “throttling”

The Washington House overwhelmingly approved bipartisan legislation February 9 imposing net neutrality policy that proponents say will protect Internet consumers and small business owners,...
Seasonal worker housing divides small town community

Seasonal worker housing divides small town community

A controversy within a tiny Central Washington community over a proposed housing unit on private land along its Main Street for foreign seasonal workers...
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...
Seattle housing

Housing inventory woes may ease

It’s no surprise that Seattle and King County have problems with expensive housing prices and inventory shortages, Seattle was ranked 2nd on Forbes’ list...
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...

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...
Washington’s hospitality labor shortage

Washington’s hospitality labor shortage

As Washington state is currently experiencing a low unemployment rate, industries such as hospitality in recent years have struggled to fill job openings. A...
State House budget proposal includes new taxes

State House budget proposal includes new taxes

Last week, the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released a report estimating that Washington will generate more than $50 billion in the 2019-21...
Stakeholder: Legislative run on banks sends “chilling message”

Stakeholder: Legislative run on banks sends “chilling message”

Now that the state legislature has approved a bill imposing a new tax on financial institutions, Washington bankers are scrambling to find out what’s...
Tour highlights state’s manufacturing sector

Tour highlights state’s manufacturing sector

The state of Washington’s manufacturers has gained the renewed attention of state lawmakers and business groups interested in the sector’s long-term health, and the...
Is congestion tolling right for Seattle?

Is congestion tolling right for Seattle?

A new study claims that a congestion pricing system for downtown Seattle could save drivers $90 million in travel time reductions while also providing...
&O tax shuffle gets mixed reviews

B&O tax shuffle gets mixed reviews

The state legislature last year enacted E2SHB 2158, which imposes the business and occupation (B&O) tax surcharge on certain businesses to pay for higher education...
Proposal would incentivize hydropower investments

Proposal would incentivize hydropower investments

During the floor debates prior to passage of the Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA) last year, some legislators called attention to the absence of...
Stakeholders urge discussions on reopening businesses

Stakeholders urge discussions on reopening businesses

Key elected state officials and small business advocates are stressing the need for a state plan to allow businesses to reopen their doors as...
State Actuary: Pay now or later for obligations

State Actuary: Pay now or later for obligations

The State Actuary’s Office plans to review the public pension system’s actuarial gains or losses at the end of the month. However, there are...
More And Faster Jobs Data Shaping Higher Ed

More, Faster Jobs Data Shapes Higher Ed

Colleges are increasingly looking at the particular skills employers seek, using data analytics to mine thousands of job listings. They’re using tools rich with...
Heading For A Cage Match On Local Control Of Teacher Salaries

Heading For A Cage Match On Local Control Of Teacher Salaries

Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn has filed a lawsuit he hopes will spur the legislature to assume financial responsibility for basic...
Free Markets Versus Intervention: Murray, Vance Square Off In First Debate

Free Markets Versus Intervention: Murray, Vance Square Off In First Debate

In a debate hosted by Gonzaga University this week, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington) and Republican challenger Chris Vance promoted distinct visions of how to grow...

Regulatory Fairness Bill Could Have Legs

Prospects could be better than average for a bipartisan House bill meant to ensure state agencies fully comply with the Regulatory Fairness Act (RFA). That law aims to protect employers from excessive...
Battle Of The State Budgets Begins

Battle Of The State Budgets Begins

House Democrats have released their proposed 2017-19 operating budget that includes over $7 billion in increased basic education spending over four years and a...

Washington State Sweet Cherry Growers Expecting “Heavy Set” Harvest

It should be a bountiful sweet cherry harvest this year, according to recent estimates from the U.S. National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). As cherry...
Stakeholders: MBT water permit denial threatens jobs, future investment

Stakeholders: MBT water permit denial threatens jobs, future investment

Millennium Bulk Terminals’ proposed export facility in Longview has been denied its water quality permit by the state Department of Ecology (DOE), prompting members...
Century Link Field With Roof Open

Event spending boosts Seattle economic activity

Traveling events and sporting games are important to Seattle businesses as they lay the groundwork for additional spending in the local area. Some of...
Industry: Carbon free by 2045 costly, unattainable

Industry: Carbon free by 2045 costly, unattainable

In a session dominated by climate change-related proposals, a Senate bill has been introduced calling for Washington state energy production to be carbon-free by...
Windmill in plains

Utility regulatory change could add flexibility

Utility stakeholders and lawmakers are throwing their support behind a proposal which would allow additional regulatory options for electrical and natural gas companies. Proponents...
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...
Rendering of U District Target

What’s up with retail downsizing?

Several large retailers are thinking small when it comes to expanding their businesses and promoting sales efficiency, especially within urban neighborhoods. Target has announced that...

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