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...
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...
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...
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...
Lighthouse at the San Juan Islands

Washington tourism agencies prepare for the winter decline

As the winter months approach, Washington tourism agencies are implementing different campaigns and marketing strategies to keep travelers coming to visit state attractions. Strategies...
Central Washington Sceneryvideo

Lens Video: Revitalizing Washington’s tourism program

Lens sat down with State Rep. Cary Condotta (R-12) to discuss the future of tourism in Washington state. Lawmakers are pushing to reopen a...
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...

Bottom-Up Rumblings On Washington Taxes

Turning heads statewide recently was the unanimous decision by the seven-member City of Spokane Valley to enact a new hurdle for that body to...

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...
Seattle’s vacation rentals industry hit with new rules

Seattle’s vacation rental industry hit with new rules

The Seattle City Council unanimously approved new regulations at a Monday meeting on short-term and vacation rentals that industry members warn will backfire as...
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...
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...
Roads: The New Utility

Roads: The New Utility

Washington's gas tax was finally raised again last year by lawmakers as part of a 16-year, $16 billion transportation funding package for roads, transit...

Inslee Seeks Tax Hike For Environment Fund

Governor Jay Inslee in his 2017-19 capital budget is proposing to raise Washington's Hazardous Substances Tax (HST), to bring revenue for the Model Toxics...

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...
Snoqualmie Falls shot

Tourism bill garners strong support

House lawmakers on Feb. 20 heard public comment on a bill which would establish a statewide tourism agency that proponents say would fill the...
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...
: Inslee’s budget proposal includes income tax

Inslee’s budget proposal includes income tax

After unveiling a series of clean energy proposals earlier this week devoid of a new tax, Governor Jay Inslee is now proposing a nine...
'Contra Krugman' Panelist Takes On 'Economic Myths Of The 2016 Election'

Economic Myths Of The 2016 Campaign Season Get A Smackdown In Seattle

One claim you’re likely to hear during this year’s presidential election cycle is that the U.S. doesn’t spend enough on helping out the poor,...
House Budget Funding Bill Faces Uncertain Future

House Budget Funding Bill Faces Uncertain Future

With the state House proposed 2017-19 operating budget approved last week, eyes are now fixed on legislation needed to fund it. HB 2186 received...
Seattle: Don’t like our income tax? Move to Bellevue

Seattle: Don’t like our income tax? Move to Bellevue

If you don’t like Seattle’s income tax, then you can get out. It’s a sentiment perhaps more appropriate for an episode of South Park, but...
Senate fight tables tax relief bill

Senate fight tables tax relief bill

A narrowly split Washington Senate is at an impasse for the moment over a bill that calls for what some say is an illegal...
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...
Industry members urge restraint with carbon tax

Industry members urge restraint with carbon tax

Governor Jay Inslee’s efforts during recent legislative sessions to impose a statewide carbon tax have been unsuccessful, but with Democrats now controlling both chambers,...

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...
Ensuring Washington’s future business competitiveness

Ensuring Washington’s future business competitiveness

Momentum is picking up against the city of Seattle’s progressive income tax as business leaders, former state officials and venture capitalists seek to insulate...
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...
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...
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...
Fuel standard proposal may be untenable, stakeholders warn

Stakeholders: Fuel standard proposal may be untenable

Washington state carbon emission reduction is the driving force behind an assortment of proposed legislation this session, with Governor Jay Inslee setting the mood...
Tax Incentives Could Help North Pacific Fishing Fleet Rebuilders Net A Big Catch

Tax Incentives Could Help North Pacific Fishing Fleet Rebuilders Net A Big Catch

The Seattle-based North Pacific fishing fleet is expected to get $1.6 billion in upgrades or rebuilding over the next decade, but in-state ship builders...
Lawmakers investigate Sound Transit 3

Lawmakers investigate Sound Transit 3

Months following a strong public backlash to Sound Transit’s new motor vehicle excise (MVET) tax for ST3, state lawmakers this week commenced formal investigations...
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...
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...
Funding raids endanger Washington infrastructure

Funding raids endanger Washington infrastructure

As part of the McCleary compromise to fully fund basic education, the state legislature has dipped repeatedly into several accounts outside the general fund....
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...
Luring Major U.S. Export Industry To Washington

Luring Major U.S. Export Industry To Washington

In 2016, the semiconductor manufacturing industry exported $43.1 billion worth of product, making it the third most lucrative U.S. export. A new report by...
cargo ship

Harbor Maintenance Tax: A competitive challenge

The Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) is just one reason why Washington ports have been losing business to competition in Canada or other West Coast ports....
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...
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...

Spokane rail proposition likely to place taxpayers on hook for legal defense

In July, the majority of the Spokane City Council denied two advisory votes which would have allowed taxpayers to weigh in on how the...
A roadmap For The Time Of Trump

A Roadmap For The Time Of Trump

Divisions are sharp in Washington State, and the United States, between economically challenged rural communities and thriving metro regions. This crystalised with the election of Donald Trump. Hillary...
Is Washington’s Tax System Really “Regressive”?

Is Washington’s tax system really “regressive”?

Although businesses pay over half the taxes collected by the state and local governments, a frequent claim among some tax reform advocates is that...
Court says Ecology overreached with Clean Air Rule

Court says Ecology overreached with Clean Air Rule

A Thurston County Superior Court judge ruling on Friday invalidated the state Department of Ecology’s Clean Air Rule due to a lack of statutory...
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...
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...
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...
Forecast: Inslee's '17-'19 Budget Would Take $11 Billion In New Taxes By 2021

Forecast: Inslee’s ’17-’19 Budget Would Take $11 Billion In New Taxes By 2021

According to a recent four-year outlook from Washington's Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC), Governor Jay Inslee's 2017-19 operating budget would take about $11.3 billion...
Patient giving blood

Business stakeholders wary of reinsurance bill

Business representatives are voicing concerns that a new bill related to health care reinsurance would mean yet another cost burden on small businesses and...

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