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

SB 6203: Carbon tax

The Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to lawmakers on behalf of 600 employers last week, urging them to oppose the carbon taxes in Senate Bill 6203: "the policies, rising costs, and uncertainty within them will hinder economic recovery and stifle economic growth — especially in rural Washington," the chamber wrote.

The bill received a public hearing last week, but it is unclear if there are enough votes to pass the bill. Despite missing the house of origin cutoff last week, the proposal is still in play. AWB opposes the legislation.

"This bill is Inslee’s latest attempt to pass a carbon pricing scheme. And with three weeks left in the session, it faces long odds of passing just as its predecessors since 2013," writes Jerry Cornfield in The Herald.

For more information on this issue, contact Mary Catherine McAleer, government affairs director for environmental policy.

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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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