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...
A Pipeline To Skilled Trades: Family-Wage Jobs Aplenty For Electrician Trainees

A Pipeline To Skilled Trades: Family-Wage Jobs Aplenty For Electrician Trainees

More and more buildings are springing up around Puget Sound, but the skilled workers who build and maintain them are nearing retirement and the...
Critics: Seattle Hotel Measure I-124 Draconian, And Has Sketchy Waiver Clause

Critics: Seattle Hotel Measure I-124 Draconian, And Has Sketchy Waiver Clause

A major U.S. labor union local is advancing a Seattle ballot measure, Initiative 124 (I-124), which purports to help hotel housekeepers. However, industry sources...
Tax-Happy Washington State Supreme Court Called Out On K-12 Education Funding

Tax-Happy Washington State Supreme Court Called Out On K-12 Education Funding

State Rep. Matt Manweller (R-13) is reading the tea leaves on court-mandated hikes in the state's share of K-12 basic education funding, and he’s...
State Pension Fund Merger Gains Eyed

State Pension Fund Merger Gains Eyed

Merging two of Washington State’s eight public employee pension systems could save taxpayers almost $2 billion over the next 25 years, without reducing pension...
Alleviating Small Business Regulatory Burdens

Alleviating Small Business Regulatory Burdens

After a recent Washington State Auditor's Office (SAO) performance audit determined state agencies are falling short when complying with the Regulatory Fairness Act (RFA),...

Locals Divided Over Benefits Of Proposed Vancouver Energy Oil Terminal Project

The proposed Vancouver Energy oil export terminal project is anticipated to create local jobs, lower the state and county’s dependence on foreign oil and...

Hirst impact study reveals troubling tax implications

A recent economic impact study found that the 2016 Washington Supreme Court decision in Whatcom County v. Eric Hirst will likely increase real estate taxes...
Study findings may discourage legislators’ budget tinkering

Study findings may discourage legislators’ budget tinkering

Washington benefits from one of the more stable revenue streams in the nation, and the best among the West Coast states. That’s according to...
Top of Granite Mountain

Tourism bill draws strong support

Washington is the only state in the country without a dedicated statewide tourism agency – and this has been the case since 2011. To address...
Is your county “rural” enough?

Is your county “rural” enough?

State lawmakers behind a bipartisan proposal to reduce the business and occupation (B&O) tax rate for manufacturers say they want to help rural Washington...
U.S. lawmakers speak to the future of global trade

Securing Washington’s trade future

During the Washington Council on International Trade (WCIT)’s annual Trade Summit, U.S. lawmakers weighed in on how Washington state could maintain its position in...
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...
Dick's Drive-In sign

Business Profile: Dick’s Drive-In, then and now

When looking for a burger in the Seattle area, the spinning Dick’s Drive-In (DDI) sign may be hard to pass up for many Washingtonians....
Seattle Condos

Condos stage comeback in Seattle, Bellevue

Condos are returning to Seattle and Bellevue on a large scale for the first time since 2010. Representatives from the housing sector say new...
Amazon Go Store

Future of work in an automated world

Members of Washington’s Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTB) are recommending to the legislature that the state and its businesses should refocus efforts...
Cottages on rural lands

Cottages on rural lands

As the state legislature considers proposals for detached accessory dwelling units within the urban growth areas (UGA), legislators are also looking to expand those...
Reeling in fish barrier removal proposals

Reeling in fish barrier removal proposals

Following a ruling last year by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding an injunction against Washington state, lawmakers are looking for money to fund hundreds...
Locals headed to small biz boot camp

Locals headed to small biz boot camp

Recent tariffs imposed by the U.S. on Chinese imports continue to affect small business members such as Krystal and Blake Garfield with the family-owned...
Seattle “all over the place”: Income isn’t money

Seattle “all over the place”: Income isn’t money

Throughout the two-year court fight over Seattle’s income tax ordinance, the city has argued that the tax doesn’t violate the state constitution or state...
Inslee budget proposal pulls from rainy day fund

Inslee budget proposal pulls from rainy day fund

Governor Jay Inslee has released a proposed supplemental operating budget that if approved would draw $300 million from the state’s budget stabilization account, also...
Debate continues over road usage charge

Debate continues over road usage charge

Although state gas tax revenue used to fund state highways has remained stable, state lawmakers behind SB 6586 say now is the time to...
For EPA, Blowback On "What's Upstream?" Carries A Familiar Refrain

For EPA, Blowback On “What’s Upstream?” Carries A Familiar Refrain

The blowback toward the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its Region 10 northwest office is growing, because EPA grant money was used in...
Seattle Employer Fees Still An Option, For More City Labor Law Probes And Outreach

Seattle Employer Fees Still An Option, For More City Labor Law Probes And Outreach

Dead for now is a ballot measure on a controversial employee hours-worked tax in Seattle. It would have been to fund more Seattle investigations...
Washington State Wary Of Trade Wars

Washington State Wary Of Trade Wars

President-elect Donald Trump campaigned on staunch opposition to global trade expansion, threatening among other things tariffs of 45% on U.S. imports from China. Yet his emerging team of economic advisors is split between those favoring...
State May Help Sonics, But Not With Cash

State May Help Sonics, But Not With Cash

State lawmakers January 26 kicked off the first of three planned work sessions to help decide if legislation would help bring the Seattle Sonics...
Leveling The Playing Field For Manufacturing Businesses

Leveling The Playing Field For Manufacturing Businesses

A new Senate bill would encourage competitiveness and promote job creation for smaller and medium-sized manufacturing businesses by reducing their general business and occupation (B&O) tax rate....

Legislature continues work to address Hirst, capital budget

Even though the legislature adjourned last week without a solution to the 2016 Supreme Court Hirst decision or passage of a capital budget, lawmakers...

Washington Policy Center to expand, focus on labor issues

The Washington Policy Center (WPC) has announced it will expand its research at the start of 2018, opening a center to focus on labor...
Construction workers on site

Employers call for better workplace safety citation process

Washington business owners are reporting that it is difficult to stay informed when receiving workplace safety inspection penalties given out by the Department of...

Net neutrality bills advance

As House lawmakers consider two similar net neutrality bills, another proposal has been introduced in the Senate that would apply the two-year federal policy...
The striking cost of “meager” ST3 tax relief

The striking cost of “meager” ST3 tax relief

In the fight to reduce the new ST3 car tab tax for Puget Sound drivers, no matter who wins, Sound Transit still wins. It’s a...
video

Lens Video: Promoting Washington’s port competitiveness

Lens sat down with Port of Seattle Commissioner Ryan Calkins to discuss how Washington is responding to the current international trade landscape.
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)
Mount Rainier

Bolstering Washington tourism

Washington state is reenergizing its statewide tourism efforts with the approval of a statewide tourism agency in March, however it has a way to...
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...
Noel Christmas Trees

Local businesses navigate Christmas tree shortage

‘Tis the season for Christmas tree selling, and Washington’s tree selling businesses and tree farms are busy cycling in trees so community members can...
Senate approves plastic bag ban

Senate approves plastic bag ban

Consumers soon may no longer be able to choose plastic bags at retail stores in Washington state, thanks to a proposal that passed in...
Preparing for Washington’s future airport

Preparing for Washington’s future airport

State House lawmakers on April 16 voted unanimously in favor of a Senate proposal to begin planning for Washington’s next major airport to accommodate...
Seattle income tax set for high court showdown

Seattle income tax set for high court showdown

In a new ruling the Washington State Division 1 of the Court of Appeals has struck down the city of Seattle’s 2017 local income...
“Horror franchise” of income tax efforts lives on

“Horror franchise” of income tax efforts lives on

In an eerily pithy decision, the Court of Appeals rejected without further elaboration a request by plaintiffs to reconsider its decision regarding the city...
December REET revenue doubles from last year

December REET revenue doubles from last year

According to data from the state Department of Revenue (DOR), the month before the state’s new law restructuring the real estate excise tax (REET)...
Clean Air Rule bill advances

Clean Air Rule bill advances

A revised HB 289 granting the state Department of Ecology the broad authority to regulate “indirect” carbon emission as part of its Clean Air...

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