State Treasurer warns against use of emergency funds in budget proposal

State Treasurer warns against use of emergency funds in budget proposal

Governor Jay Inslee’s proposed 2018 supplemental budget released Thursday brought forth mixed tidings of discomfort and joy. His operating budget would add $1 billion...
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...
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...
Wine grapes

Grape growers expect great harvest

Washington’s wine harvest is well underway, and representatives from the wine industry are expecting a large harvest with low disease risk. Grape growers say...

Timeless Wisdom From Frank Zappa On Rights And Responsibilities Of Employers

If you think of Frank Zappa at all, it may be as an anachronistic rock musician who sometimes used bad words in his song...
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...
Transportation Funding Questions Persist

Transportation Funding Questions Persist

Adequately maintaining and growing Washington's transportation infrastructure isn't cheap, and in Central Puget Sound alone, a million more residents are due by 2040. A...
Spokane Will Vote On Oil Trains, But Measure One May Just Be Symbolic

Spokane Will Vote On Oil Trains, But Measure One May Just Be Symbolic

The Spokane City Council this week approved a November ballot measure asking voters whether oil and coal trains traveling through the city should be...

Stage Set For Two State Budget Battles

The Washington legislature already faces a projected $2.6 billion deficit for the 2019-21 biennial budget, as it digs in this coming January to fashion...
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...
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...

Identifying Small Business Challenges In Washington’s Workers’ Compensation System

In the business world, one workers' compensation claim can spell disaster for employers and their ability to stay afloat in a competitive market, and the financial effects...

Enhanced Safety Strategies Protect Workers, Reduce Construction Business Operating Costs

For construction businesses, workplace accidents have ripple effects which extend beyond the initial claim and the worker’s wellbeing – any injury can hold up...
Lawmakers look back to the future for rural broadband access in Washington state

Lawmakers look back to the future for rural broadband access in Washington state

State lawmakers are renewing the push for greater rural broadband access in Washington communities. Proponents of a Senate bill introduced during this year’s session...
Lawmakers Seek To Reduce Resident Energy Bills

Lawmakers Seek To Reduce Resident Energy Bills

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers want Washington utility customers who finance hydro-efficiency improvements at the federally-owned dams in the Columbia River Basin to...
The future of right to work in Washington state

The future of right to work in Washington state

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision overturning required union dues for government workers, the Washington-based Freedom Foundation has filed a class-action lawsuit on...
Cherries for sale

Cherry growers bear brunt of tariffs

Cherry growers in the Pacific Northwest were hit hard this harvest after a second wave of Chinese tariffs placed on their products, forcing farmers...
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...
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...

Proposed Vancouver Energy Oil Terminal Would Bring Jobs, Revenue To Local Communities

Final public comment regarding a permit for the proposed Vancouver Energy oil terminal proved lively as local residents, environmental advocates, business stakeholders and members...
The dark side of carbon tax’s demise

The dark side of carbon tax’s demise

After the election of Sen. Manka Dhingra in the 45th legislative district gave Democrats control of both legislative chambers and the governorship, some wondered...
Chelan PUD voices support for Snake River dams

Chelan PUD voices support for Snake River dams

The Chelan PUD commissioners this week voted unanimously in favor of a resolution opposing the removal of eight dams on the lower Snake River....
Is California Washington’s housing future?

Is California Washington’s housing future?

Washington is experiencing a statewide housing shortage problem that is unlikely to change anytime soon, according to Washington Center for Real Estate Research (WCRER)...

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...
Housing Crisis 'Ugly And Getting Uglier'

Housing Crisis “Ugly And Getting Uglier”

In terms of housing availability and affordability, there are two predominant types of major metro regions these days, writes BuildZoom Chief Economist Issi Romem....

Labor urges passage of Millennium Bulk Terminals permit to boost economy, create jobs

Members of the labor community have taken a strong interest in urging Cowlitz County to approve shoreline permits for the proposed export terminal project...

Japan eyes Millennium Bulk Terminals to fulfill energy needs

More than six years after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Facility disaster, Japan is looking to the United States as a viable option for a...
Broadband Internet For Economic Growth In Rural Washington: More, Please!

Broadband Internet For Economic Growth In Rural Washington: More, Please!

Rosalia Mayor Nan Konishi sells hand-crafted furniture, when she's not busy governing the town of about 550 residents in Whitman County, Washington near the...
Putting the freeze on id theft prevention costs

Putting the freeze on ID theft prevention costs

Last year, a cybersecurity breach of the consumer reporting agency Equifax exposed the personal information of 143 million American consumers. That included credit card...
Shrouded in Secrecy: The Hidden World of Public Sector Labor Talks In Washington

Shrouded In Secrecy: Public Sector Labor Talks In Washington

Since 2002 in Washington state, public unions and the governor have negotiated in secrecy over state employee benefits and salaries as part of the...

Note to Seattle: Amazon seeks “stable & business-friendly climate”

Business advocates have warned of backlash to the anti-employer rhetoric emanating from places such as Seattle, which in recent years has approved a variety...
Capital gains income tax proposals loom next session

Capital gains income tax proposals loom next session

This year’s legislative session saw several unsuccessful proposals to enact a capital gains income tax. Comments made by lawmakers at a Sept. 13 House...
State farmers could take hit on chemical ban

State farmers could take hit on chemical ban

The state House has successfully passed ESSHB 1112 in a 55-39 vote to gradually phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons in products such as...
Measure Streamlining Municipal Business Licensing Clears House

Measure Streamlining Municipal Business Licensing Clears House

Washington small business owners may soon get a large licensing and reporting break. On Thursday, March 2, HB 2005 was voted out off the House...
New Carbon Tax Proposal Under Fire By Washington Manufacturers

New Carbon Tax Proposal Under Fire By Washington Manufacturers

House Democrats have proposed a new carbon tax they say addresses criticisms leveled against similar proposals that have failed to garner legislative or voter...
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....
Stakeholders urge caution with green energy push

Stakeholders urge caution with green energy push

One of Governor Jay Inslee’s green energy proposals announced in December is to have Washington state utilities generate carbon-free electricity by 2030 and 100...
Harvested apples in box

Washington growers: Remove the tariffs

Washington’s agricultural stakeholders continue asking the Trump administration to resolve problems stemming from the current trade war between the U.S. and other major trading...
Container ship entering port

Legislature asks Congress for harbor maintenance tax reform

Stakeholders from the retail sector, port leadership and labor leaders are voicing strong support for a measure which would request Congress to reform the...
Protecting Washington transportation revenue

Protecting Washington transportation revenue

One of the concerns Washington residents may have about a possible road user charge (RUC) to replace the state gas tax for funding transportation...
video

Lens Video: Dick’s Drive In- Growing alongside Seattle

Lens met with Jasmine Donovan, Executive Vice President and CFO of Dick's Drive-In, to learn about how the restaurant got its start and has...

How A Business-Friendly Climate in Kenmore Gave Rise To “Brew Row”

Washington’s craft brew industry has grown by leaps and bounds since 2006 when the state beer commission was first created by the state legislature....
video

Video: ‘Tis the season of trees

Lens interviewed Northwest Landscape Supply Owner Gary Fruhling and Bellevue resident Jeanne Ulstein to get their perspectives on the competition that Christmas tree selling...
manufacturing worker in shop

Closing the manufacturing skills gap

Washington-based manufacturing business have a problem: they are short on skilled workers that can quickly adapt to ever-changing machinery and technology. Skagit Valley College...
Fixing Puget Sound region’s growing pains

Fixing Puget Sound region’s growing pains

It’s no secret that the Puget Sound region has a housing and traffic problem, but some local and regional lawmakers say regional policy for...
City of Seattle at night

Head tax “last nail in the coffin”

In the latest development in the controversy surrounding the Seattle City Council’s proposed business tax plan, or “head tax,” Amazon has stopped development in...
Sound Transit car tab fee injunction denied

Sound Transit car tab fee injunction denied

A Pierce County Superior Court judge has denied an injunction request preventing Sound Transit from collecting any more of its motor vehicle excise tax...
State Takes Long Look Under Hood Of Economic Engine Eyed For Clark County

State Takes Long Look Under Hood Of Economic Engine Eyed For Clark County

By the end of the year a Washington state panel will recommend to Governor Jay Inslee whether to proceed with the proposed Tesoro Savage...
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...

Survey: Americans say sales tax “fairest of them all”

Washington state’s sales tax is one of the highest in the nation and has come under fire from progressive tax system advocates who say...
Time for a tax cut?

Time for a tax cut?

Supporters of a capital gains income tax to allow reductions in the state property tax rate advanced a bill doing just that Feb. 19...

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