February 12, 2018
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As house of origin cutoff nears, B&O tax among those items awaiting legislative action

AWB is continuing to make the case for reinstating the reduction in the business and occupation (B&O) tax for all manufacturers. It's an important way to shore up the state's economy. Since 2000, Washington state has lost more than 50,000 manufacturing jobs, the bulk of which are outside of aerospace. This document illustrates how manufacturing is losing ground to other sectors.

Several bills from both sides of the aisle would provide this tax relief, helping make Washington a more competitive environment for manufacturers.

"This is something lawmakers accomplished last year, before it was vetoed, and it’s something they should deliver this year," AWB President Kris Johnson said.

The Kitsap Sun agrees that all manufacturers deserve to be treated equally. In an editorial published over the weekend, the paper called on its readers to contact Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, and urge her support for B&O tax relief legislation.

AWB's push for this important legislative action includes a robust social media campaign and an action alert to manufacturers, asking employers to contact their lawmakers and urge support for B&O tax relief for manufacturers. Click here to take part in this effort.

One B&O tax proposal is House Bill 2947, sponsored by Rep. Mike Chapman, D-Port Angeles. The bill would provide tax relief to manufacturers that reside in 31 of the state’s 39 counties, continuing the current unequal tax code for manufacturing operations in Washington.

With the legislative session past the half-way mark, Rolfes told The Seattle Times that a “grand bargain” on B&O tax relief could be reached and that it may hinge on a deal for property tax relief.

Contact Clay Hill, AWB government affairs director for tax and fiscal policy, 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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