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Press Release

Thursday, March 28

AWB Statement on Gov. Inslee Budget Proposal

OLYMPIA — The Association of Washington Business, Washington state’s largest business organization representing small, medium and large employers, issued the following statement  from AWB President Don Brunell today regarding Gov. Inslee’s budget proposal:

“While we understand and support Gov. Inslee’s desire to increase funding for education, we do not support raising taxes. Whether it’s called a tax increase or ‘closing a loophole,’ the result is the same: Families and employers pay the government more money.  
 
Education funding was a primary focus during the gubernatorial campaign and so were tax increase. With our state projected to have $2 billion in additional tax revenue over the next two-year budget cycle, we are hopeful Gov. Inslee and the Legislature can incorporate that money into funding education, as we believe the Senate will when it releases its budget next week.
 
Washington’s gross receipts tax, known as the business and occupation (B&O) tax, is particularly onerous because it taxes gross receipts instead of profits. Many of our employers continue to struggle as the economy slowly rebounds. Increasing the tax on total revenue going through the cash register is a damper on the economy. Our state already taxes businesses at a high rate compared to other states. Health care costs continue to soar, workers’ compensation taxes remain high and Washington has the fifth-highest unemployment insurance premiums in the nation.

The reality is, these costs add up. When employers consider whether or not to invest in Washington, they look at the total cost of doing business  We believe the governor’s budget and tax increase proposal makes our state less competitive for many employers, particularly small, family-owned businesses, and will not stimulate job or revenue growth in the private sector.

We look forward to seeing the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus’ budget proposal next week.”

About the Association of Washington Business
Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 8,000 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit www.awb.org.

 

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