February 19, 2018
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Bill to reinstate B&O manufacturing tax relief gets hearing; New B&O tax relief bill appears on today's committee executive session schedule

On Friday, AWB President Kris Johnson, testifying before the House Finance Committee, called on lawmakers to reduce the business and occupation (B&O) tax rate for all Washington manufacturers.

Substitute House Bill 2947, sponsored by Rep. Mike Chapman, D-Port Angeles, and Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic, would lower the B&O tax rate, but only for manufacturers in 30 of Washington’s 39 counties. The counties left out of the tax relief bill include Benton, Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston and Whatcom.

Johnson pointed out to the committee members that the bill would leave out 5,614 manufacturers that represent 233,796 employees. And, of the 11 members of the committee, only two would see their constituents fully benefit from the bill’s provisions.

“It’s time to let all manufacturers win,” he said.

Testifying with Johnson were Dave Gering, executive director of the Manufacturing Industrial Council, and Harry Ross, human resources director at Cascade Designs, a Seattle-based manufacturer of outdoor products.

“If you’re looking at this strategically for manufacturing, you need to do the entire sector,” Gering said.

Recent data from the Washington Research Council backs up that assessment. It shows that manufacturing employment is down 14.2 percent statewide since 2000. And, compared to other sectors showing growth in urban areas, manufacturing has declined more in urban than in rural areas, underscoring the need for supporting the entire sector, not just manufacturers in certain regions.

“…Our request is that you will look at this to apply to manufacturers throughout the state,” Ross said. “Manufacturing is not easy, even in the urban environment, especially with wages going up.”

A new bill was filed using the committee’s substitute to HB 2947. That new bill is HB 2992, which now appears to be the vehicle for manufacturing B&O tax relief which was expanded to specifically add timber and wood product manufacturers, extractors and wholesalers. An executive session on the bill took place today in the House Finance Committee.

Lowering the B&O tax rate for manufacturers is a top legislative objective for AWB.

Olympia Business Watch has more on the hearing, including video highlights from AWB News. For more information on this issue, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Clay 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
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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.

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