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...
Senate approves House timber bill

Senate approves House timber bill

The Washington Senate on April 16 voted 47-1 in favor of a bill intended to boost the timber industry in rural counties with higher...
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...
: No new taxes in Senate budget proposal

No new taxes in Senate budget proposal

The state legislative session is likely to end on exactly the opposite note as last year’s: on time and without new taxes. That is...
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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)
Investing in rural Washington

Investing in rural Washington

Though Washington is ranked by WalletHub as having the best state economy in the nation, often lost in the mix is the growing inequity...
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...
Lawmakers contemplate tolling authority change

Lawmakers contemplate tolling authority change

As local cities and even counties consider ways to reduce congestion or improve revenue streams, one option is tolling city streets. It’s an idea...
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....
King County court smacks down Seattle income tax

King County court smacks down Seattle income tax

If the city of Seattle’s message to residents was “you can leave if you don't like our income tax,” King County Superior Court perhaps...
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...
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...
State revenue: how much is enough?

State revenue: how much is enough?

The latest report from the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) shows that the Washington state legislature has $50 billion to spend for...
New Oregon Business Tax Measure Could Hurt, Help Southwest Washington

New Oregon Business Tax Measure Could Hurt, Help Southwest Washington

If Oregon’s Initiative Petition 28 (IP 28) is approved by voters this November, the corporate gross receipts tax will drain from the Oregon economy...
State Budget Deficit Estimates Jump Higher

State Budget Deficit Estimates Jump Higher

The budget stakes have risen for Washington lawmakers. A report last week from the Office of Program Research states the expected budget deficit for the 2017-19 biennium will now be almost $1.5...
Experts Stress Washington Tax Stability As Other States Suffer Revenue Drops

Experts stress Washington tax stability as other states suffer revenue drops

State House lawmakers plan to hold public meetings throughout Washington over the next biennium to discuss the state’s taxing system, a roadshow-style tour funded...
Outside shot of Key Arena

KeyArena Renovation: potential boon for local economy

Seattle city leaders have approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Los Angeles-based Oak View Group (OVG) to renovate KeyArena with the hope of...
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...
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...
Seattle attorney memo sheds light on city income tax

Seattle attorney memo sheds light on city income tax

One of the questions surrounding the city of Seattle’s 2017 income tax ordinance is what the city council was told by City Attorney Peter...
Sound Transit's Trail Of Broken Promises Casts Pall Over New $50 Billion Proposal

Sound Transit’s Trail Of Broken Promises Casts Pall Over New $50 Billion Proposal

Sound Transit is promoting its third big round of system-building as a regional transportation solution. Among other things, Sound Transit 3 (ST3) will provide...
Revitalizing Washington’s manufacturing industry with tax cut

Revitalizing Washington’s manufacturing industry with tax cut

During last year’s legislative session, the longest in state history, lawmakers approved a 2017-19 operating budget that included a reduced gross receipts tax, or...
Seattle’s income tax could lead to even higher home, rental prices, industry leaders say

Seattle’s income tax could lead to even higher home, rental prices, industry leaders say

One of the justifications cited in the city ordinance for Seattle’s income tax is to address the “affordable housing crisis.” However, real estate industry...
House budget includes capital gains tax

House budget includes capital gains tax

The House’s proposed supplement operating budget released Feb. 20 doesn’t spend nearly as much as its companion proposal in the Senate, but it assumes...
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...
To reform (or not) Washington’s tax system

To reform (or not) Washington’s tax system

If there’s agreement among policy wonks that Washington’s tax code needs to change, there’s equal disagreement over the nuances of that discussion and what...
Lawmakers: Veto bank tax bill

Lawmakers: Veto bank tax bill

Several top-ranking Republican state lawmakers and a Democrat senator are calling on Governor Jay Inslee to veto SHB 2167, arguing it was passed by...

Public Pension Reform: A Work In Progress

Washington has eight public pension systems for employees of state and local governments, and 15 plans within those systems. According to the latest numbers...
As Budget Talks Stall, Members Resort to Political Theater

As Budget Talks Stall, Members Resort to Political Theater

With budget negotiations at a standstill, Washington state lawmakers are resorting to creative methods to continue discussions. After forcing a symbolic vote April 21...
raiding-money

Raiding Washington’s toxic cleanup fund

A state Department of Ecology account intended to fund the cleanup of orphan hazardous sites in Washington is projected to have a $69 million...
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...
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...
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...
Senate hearings set for Sound Transit bills

Senate hearings set for Sound Transit bills

As momentum for Sound Transit 3 car tab relief appears to be waning in the state House, efforts are being renewed in the Senate....

Lawmakers: Inslee’s New Taxes Won’t Fly

Washington state's major employers and several key lawmakers are warning that $4.4 billion in new taxes under Governor Jay Inslee’s 2017-19 budget would threaten Washington's economic recovery. If approved as...

City of Seattle withholds $50,000 consultant report on progressive income tax ordinance

Update: Shortly after this article was published, the city of Seattle released one of the documents requested by Jason Mercier, who has written a...
Tax credit proposed to aid rural broadband

Tax credit proposed to aid rural broadband

One Washington telecom provider wants all state residents to have high-speed internet access by 2028. It’s a goal driven primarily by uneven broadband access,...
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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...
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...
New tax to pay for wildfires?

New tax to pay for wildfires?

Since 2009, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has spent more than $700 million fighting wildfires. Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-24) and...
Two Starkly Different Visions For K-12

Two Starkly Different Visions For K-12

At a hearing of the Senate Ways and Means Committee Monday, January 30, lawmakers further staked out their ground in what will be protracted...
Lawmakers say Sound Transit misled voters, propose key reform measures

Lawmakers say Sound Transit misled voters, propose key reform measures

Following two work sessions investigating Sound Transit, top-ranking Republican lawmakers on the Senate Law and Justice Committee say the results prove the regional transit...
The great rainy day fund raid

The great rainy day fund raid

State property tax relief for Western Washington homeowners has become a major topic in this year’s legislative session after lawmakers passed EHB 2242 to...
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...
Long journey ahead for road user charge

Long journey ahead for road user charge

If Washington state ever adopts a road user charge (RUC) to replace the motor vehicle fuel tax (MVFT), it’s going to be a long...
Swapping sales tax exemption for a refund: Will it work?

Swapping sales tax exemption for a refund: Will it work?

An upcoming change to the state sales tax exemption for nonresidents and the reaction by different business entities reflect the diversity of Washington’s economic...

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