February 5, 2018
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Momentum building for B&O manufacturing tax relief



Manufacturing is the cornerstone of Washington’s economy, but we know manufacturers could use some support right now. Since 2000, Washington state has lost more than 50,000 manufacturing jobs, the bulk of which are outside of aerospace.

Last year, the Legislature took action to help the manufacturing sector regain momentum, passing with a strong bipartisan vote a measure that lowered the business and occupation (B&O) tax rate for manufacturers, creating one statewide tax rate.

However, the provision was vetoed before it could take effect. The tax relief would have helped roughly 10,000 small- and medium-sized manufacturers invest in their businesses and employees and create jobs.

This session, there are several bills in play that would provide our vital manufacturing sector tax relief. To help support these bills, AWB launched an "action alert" to our members last week, urging them to contact their senators and representatives in support of House Bill 2947 (and its companion, Senate Bill 6596), with a change to include all counties across the state, and Senate Bill 6542.

As currently drafted, HB 2947 and SB 6596 would reduce the B&O rate for eligible rural manufacturers by 40 percent, phased in over four years, starting in 2020. AWB is encouraging a change in the bill to make all manufacturers eligible.

This follows AWB’s social media video campaign, highlighting small, family-owned Washington manufacturing employers who explain how B&O tax relief would support their businesses.

For more information on the manufacturing B&O tax relief, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Clay Hill at 360.943.1600.



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Work to ensure Boeing builds its next jet in the Puget Sound region

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Glowing praise of the Puget Sound region by Boeing's chief executive is reassuring as the state of Washington seeks to land production of the company's next jetliner.

"Puget Sound is part of Boeing for the future in a very strong way," Dennis Muilenburg said in an interview with Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates.

But the region and state must continue working hard to convince the company that its hometown remains the best place in the world to manufacture its next plane, informally dubbed the 797.

A task force convened by Gov. Jay Inslee last year is making progress and preparing to submit a bid if there's a formal request for site proposals later this year. Regional groups in areas such as Snohomish County and Spokane also are making their case. This is a critical effort to retain and grow an industry that's a cornerstone of the state's economy.

While Muilenburg didn't tip his hand on the 797, which Boeing hasn't yet committed to build, he did drop hints about where Washington can improve its competitiveness.

One is the cost of living and doing business in Seattle, which are "higher than most of our other sites," he said...

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Hard Work Remains


Competitiveness Redbook highlights Washington's successes, opportunities

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington's economy is the envy of many states across the country. Job growth in our urban areas is booming and cranes pepper the Seattle and Bellevue skylines.

All that points to a robust statewide economy today and into the future. Or, does it?

Each year, the Association of Washington Business (AWB) digs deeper into the state's economy and competitiveness, going beyond the headlines and accolades from outside groups, to determine where Washington can improve and harness opportunities for growth.

AWB's 2018 Competitiveness Redbook, released last month, is a data-driven guide to Washington state's economic health that uses comparisons -- 59 tables in all -- with other states to benchmark performance in key indicators.

One important indicator is job growth. The latest numbers show job growth remains a strength, with nearly 80,000 new jobs added over the past year. Looking deeper, however, that's actually 21,000 fewer jobs than the previous year, dropping our state down one spot to sixth in the nation...

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World
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