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Press Release

Wednesday, April 29

AWB: Legislature should pass budget that lives within means

OLYMPIA — Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business, issued the following statement Wednesday on the start of the Legislature’s 30-day special session:

"Lawmakers must find a way to reach agreement on a budget that makes needed investments in education and other important services without harming small employers. Now is not the time to raise the state’s business and occupation (B&O) tax by 20 percent, or implement a capital gains tax that would hit small- and medium-sized businesses that are structured as S corporations.

"With state tax collections growing by $3 billion over the next two years, or nearly 9 percent, lawmakers have the resources to continue their investment in education and other critical areas without spending beyond the state’s means and jeopardizing a still-fragile economy.

"It’s important to remember that what feels like a recovery in parts of the Puget Sound region still feels like a recession in much of the state. Part of Washington is doing well, and that’s great news. But when the rest of the state’s counties are at or near double-digit unemployment, it’s the wrong time to raise taxes on small businesses, which are the job creators in communities throughout the state."

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 7,900 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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