January 30, 2017
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Legislation of Note

HB 1500: Adding new layers to tax transparency

House Bill 1500, which is labeled as a bill "increasing tax exemption transparency and accountability," raises a number of concerns. It adds unnecessary layers to Washington’s strong transparency laws currently on the books and threatens the predictability and stability of Washington’s tax code.

The bill:

• Establishes the tax exemption transparency and accountability act.

• Creates a tax expenditure budget as part of the biennial budget adopted by the Legislature.

• Reforms the tax expenditure process by including tax expenditures in a tax expenditure budget in the biennial state budget process and requires they be readopted every two years as part of the budget process or they expire.

• Requires the Department of Revenue to prepare a tax expenditure budget.

• Requires the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee to report its findings and recommendations for scheduled tax expenditures to the Citizen Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Expenditures by June 30 of each year.

Contact Eric Lohnes, AWB government affairs director for tax and fiscal policy, to learn more about the bill or to join AWB in testifying about its impacts.

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Kudos to Microsoft for bold public-policy goals for Washington state

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Microsoft is taking its regional public service to a new level with the release of an ambitious legislative agenda for Washington state.

Under its president, Brad Smith, the company has increasingly advocated for education, transportation and economic development.

Recognizing that the entire state has unmet needs, the company is broadening its agenda beyond the Puget Sound area. Best of all, Microsoft is offering to help incubate and partly fund several new programs to get them launched.

The public benefits from such corporate citizens providing thoughtful and supportive engagement on critical policy issues.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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