House Budget Raises Taxes, Threatens Competitiveness
“For the first time in about six years we have a small uptick in state revenue. And thanks to the work on last year’s operating budget, we are putting more money into both K-12 and higher education to satisfy McCleary. Lawmakers are not that far apart in their budgets, and with just 14 days to go in the session, we would urge the House and Senate to work together to complete the work of the supplemental session,” said Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business. AWB represents more than 8,100 small, medium and large private employers statewide.
“The tax increases singled out by House and Senate Democrats — taxes on bottled water, out-of-state shopping, prescription drugs and recycled fuel — are arbitrary and would have an immediate negative impact on our state’s competitiveness,” said Johnson. “Washington water bottlers like Lodi Water Company in Chewelah provide great family-paying jobs in an already economically challenged area of the state. This adds costs and puts them at a competitive disadvantage, which is exactly what we don’t want to do in this economy,” he added.
“Consider also the small and medium-sized businesses in our border communities near Idaho and Oregon. The sales tax increase for out-of-state shoppers would be felt widely in those communities where retailers and other businesses rely on shoppers from across the border,” Johnson said.
“Right now, everyone should remain focused on what it will take to get our economy up and running and creating jobs across the state. We encourage legislators to work together and finalize the supplemental budget in the remaining days of session. The proposal outlined by House Democrats runs counter to that goal.”
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 8,100 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.