February 12, 2018
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Potential energy tax "devastating" for Washington, Senate Republican leader says at AWB Lobby Lunch

Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville; Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick; and House Republican Floor Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, updated AWB members and lobbyists on the state budget, a proposed carbon tax and more during last week's Lobby Lunch.

Schoesler said that Washington’s tax revenue has grown every single quarter for about eight years, but some lawmakers are still proposing new taxes, including a tax on carbon.

An energy tax, Schoesler said, “is the most devastating thing that we could do to the state of Washington. Hardworking middle-class people, small businesses, pay the price so that somebody can feel good about unmeasurable improvements in the environment. That simply is not acceptable.”

The Tri-City Herald agreed, calling the proposed carbon tax a “burden on some people more than others,” adding “that isn’t fair.” The paper, which quoted from AWB’s Lobby Lunch blog post, said it agrees with Inslee that it wants less pollution, but the solution “shouldn’t be to hurt some people more than others.”

In other news, Wilcox said it’s quite possible that the session will end on time on March 7, and that state revenues are strong. Read more at the Olympia Business Watch blog, or watch the video here.

AWB’s third and final Lobby Lunch is scheduled for this Thursday and will feature Democratic legislative leaders.

Each Lobby Lunch costs $20 and is open to current AWB members. To register for the upcoming Lobby Lunch, contact Connie Carlson at 360.943.1600. Registrations are due by noon of the Tuesday before each Thursday event.

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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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