February 12, 2018
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Legislation of Note

HB 2338: Low-carbon fuel standards

Many employers responded to AWB's Action Alert on a proposed low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS), House Bill 2338. This policy would increase gasoline prices by at least 10 cents per gallon, as it has in California, with little to no environmental benefit. That tax would be on top of Washington's existing 49.4-cent gas tax, the second highest in the nation. Unlike the gas tax, which is dedicated by paying for roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure, the higher fuel prices from a LCFS would do nothing to improve congestion or help businesses move products to market.

To address the many impacts of this issue, two AWB Government Affairs directors testified against the bill last week (click links for TVW video of their testimony): Mary Catherine McAleer addressed the environmental aspects of the legislation, and Mike Ennis covered the transportation and infrastructure sides of the bill.

AWB and other employers sent this letter to lawmakers, summarizing the business community's objections.

Contact McAleer or Ennis to learn more.

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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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