February 19, 2018
AWB
   
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Legislation of Note

HB 2967: Creating a capital gains tax

Though lawmakers said a capital gains tax would be off the table in 2018, the chair of the House Finance Committee introduced House Bill 2967, which would create a capital gains tax of 7 percent with the proceeds being directed toward lowering property taxes.

AWB Government Affairs Director Clay Hill testified in opposition to the measure, noting that the new tax is not broad-based or reliable, both of which are part of good tax policy. Other business associations, from retail, realtors, and hospitality also spoke against the bill. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation also testified about misconceptions around the capital gains tax as an “excise tax.”

The Washington Research Council analyzed the bill in a new issue brief. For more information on this bill, contact Hill at 360.943.1600.



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B&O Tax Relief for Manufacturers
Support All Manufacturers


AWB tells House committee, 'It's time to let all manufacturers win'

By Jason Hagey, AWB

AWB President Kris Johnson called on lawmakers to lower the business and occupation (B&O) tax rate for all Washington manufacturers, not just those in some parts of the state, during a hearing Friday before the House Finance Committee.

In its current form, Substitute House Bill 2947 would lower the B&O rate for manufacturers in 30 counties. It would leave out nine counties, including many that consist largely of rural areas, such as Kitsap and Benton.

"It's time to let all manufacturers win," Johnson said, echoing language that Rep. Gael Tarleton, D-Ballard, used during a floor speech last week on a separate measure aimed at boosting Washington's boat manufacturers. "We're going to let our fishing fleet win," Tarleton declared before the House voted 97-1 in favor of her bill.
Read the full blog and watch the video at Olympia Business Watch
Preserving Local Commitment


Avista sale is good for customers, community

By Scott Morris, CEO, Avista Corp.

Six months ago, Avista and Hydro One announced plans to combine and form one of North America's largest regulated utilities. Since that time, as we've moved toward closing, our confidence has only grown in the benefits of this merger for all of our stakeholders, from our customers and employees to our shareholders and the communities we serve.

Given the central role that Avista plays in its service territories, both as an energy provider and a member of the community, we understand why customers and community members want assurances that they will continue to receive safe, reliable and high-quality energy at a fair price and that Avista will continue to be an active corporate citizen.

The short answer is that the proposed transaction is designed to help preserve -- and even enhance -- Avista's commitments to its customers and its communities. In a changing industry landscape, joining forces with Hydro One will help safeguard Avista's proud legacy and way of doing business...

Read the full op-ed in The Spokesman-Review
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