AWB's Rural Jobs Task Force will connect via conference call this Wednesday at 10 a.m. to discuss the latest legislation dealing with rural issues. The task force will also hear from proponents of House Bill 1422/Senate Bill 5208, the Rural Jobs Act. There is an amendment on the bill that now includes an allocation to rural broadband. Contact Connie Carlson or Mike Ennis to join the conference call.
A separate rural broadband bill, House Bill 2749, would allow a local sales and use tax credit against the state sales tax for high-speed internet infrastructure. Sponsored by Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, the bill would allow rural counties to impose an additional 0.05 percent sales tax as a credit against the state sales tax for development of broadband in unserved areas. Currently, counties can keep 0.09 percent of the state sales tax for economic development purposes and this bill would allow counties to keep an additional 0.05 percent restricted to rural broadband infrastructure. The bill will have a public hearing on Tuesday before the House Technology and Economic Development Committee.
Contact Mike Ennis, AWB government affairs director for rural issues and infrastructure, to learn more.