February 12, 2018
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State hires consultant to analyze Washington's competitiveness for new Boeing airplane



The Choose Washington New Middle-market Airplane (NMA) Council, a coalition of government, union and business officials created by Gov. Jay Inslee late last year, has hired a Virginia-based aerospace analyst for an outside perspective on Washington's competitiveness.

In announcing the pick, the Choose Washington NMA Council said it wants a rigorous, objective assessment of Washington state's competitive position.

The goal is to ensure that Washington is chosen as the location when Boeing picks where it will build its next airplane, informally dubbed the 797. The mid-market plane would fit between the largest 737 and the smallest 787, The Herald reports. Its 200 to 270 seats would fill the niche left by the discontinuation of 757, built in Renton.

“We are seeking an outside perspective so we know where we can improve as a region,” said Brian Bonlender, director of the state Department of Commerce and a leader of the council. “We can never be complacent about these things.”

Richard Aboulafia, vice president for analysis of the Teal Group, will release his report in April.

Aboulafia said he's "cautiously optimistic" Boeing will choose Washington to build the 797 in Washington, but that he'll look for ways to help Washington strengthen its case and improve its competitiveness.

Washington state's aerospace manufacturing cluster is the largest in the world, boasting skilled workers, good workforce training and several tax incentives, The Puget Sound Business Journal reports.

The Spokesman-Review also covered the story.

(Image via Choose Washington)



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A Backdoor Gas Tax Increase


Inslee's carbon tax bill unfair to middle class

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

Senate Bill 6203 will burden some people more than others, and that isn't fair.

The proposal -- also known as the carbon tax bill -- would impose an additional $10 per metric ton on carbon dioxide emissions in 2019. The amount would increase over time to $30 per metric ton by 2029.

The money raised would go to clean energy efforts and projects that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also might encourage more people to buy vehicles that don't run solely on fossil fuel, Inslee said.

But adding that extra tax will mean gas prices will go up, and so will heating bills.

An analysis by the Washington Policy Center estimates the average family will spend $125 more on gasoline per year in 2019, and $375 more a year in 2029 if the tax is approved...

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
Supporting all Washington Manufacturers


Equal footing for economic growth

By The Kitsap Sun Editorial Board

On the whole our state's B&O is seen as a misguided tax by many, since its collections are based on gross rather than net profits, and cities, including here in Kitsap, have been working to minimize its impact on small businesses by gradually lowering local B&O rates. It's a particular tax reform that's generally helpful to small business without creating an unaccountable giveaway that hurts public coffers, when implemented wisely.

Last summer's state budget agreement included a provision to expand the lower state B&O rate beyond the aerospace sector, applying it to all manufacturers. The provision, pushed by the Republican caucus but agreed to by Democrats in budget negotiations, wouldn't have completely eliminated state B&O, but it would have put all manufacturers on equal footing. That's a fair request in a state where Boeing and aerospace receive a deserved share of economic credit but aren't the only engine driving our future.

The measure was vetoed by Gov. Jay Inslee, who stated at the time he disagreed with being caught off-guard by its inclusion in a budget deal. In our view that was disappointing, given the work that went into the agreement, but this session the idea is back -- actually, two versions of it are. Competing Senate bills were in the Ways and Means committee as of Friday, both of which would gradually lower the B&O rate for all manufacturers to what's paid by the aerospace industry to the tune of about $64 million over the next four years...

Read the full editorial in The Kitsap Sun
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