March 18, 2019
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AWB joins chambers in Spokane, Port Angeles and Longview to run ads highlighting the growth of state tax revenues

As the Legislature moves into high gear on budget-writing over the coming weeks, AWB and local chambers of commerce are working together to encourage lawmakers to live within their ample means. With an extra $4 billion in tax revenue coming in this biennium -- and economic headwinds on the horizon -- this is a time to avoid new taxes on businesses and families and shore up the state’s reserve account.

That is the message that readers of The Spokesman-Review, The Longview Daily News, and The Peninsula Daily News saw on Sunday. AWB, in cooperation with the local chambers of commerce and employers in those communities, ran large, eye-catching ads that highlight these basic facts.

The text of the ads reads: "Olympia has $4,000,000,000 more tax dollars to spend on the next budget. So why are they asking small businesses to pay more?"

The ad encourages readers to contact legislators and tell them, "Spend what you have and leave business to us."

AWB President Kris Johnson and Washington Roundtable President Steve Mullin made a similar point Sunday in a guest column that ran in The Herald of Everett, headlined “State won ‘economic lottery;’ it doesn’t need new taxes.”

Their argument is summarized this way: "With the recent boost in revenue, lawmakers shouldn’t seek to increase taxes so they can splurge."

Read the full column here. To learn more about AWB's advocacy for government to live within its means, and to move away from proposed new taxes on employers, contact Clay Hill, AWB government affairs director for tax and fiscal policy.

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Competitiveness Matters

State won 'economic lottery;' it doesn't need new taxes

By Kris Johnson and Steve Mullin

Imagine winning the lottery tomorrow. You'd have $10 million to spend on whatever you wanted in an instant.

Of course, the prudent thing would be to get a financial adviser and plan for the future. Ensure you have a strong foundation and adequate savings, then decide what you can splurge on. This scenario is not unlike the position our state finds itself in after years of economic recovery and expansion.

Economic and tax revenue growth in Washington state has been extraordinary over the last decade.

So much so that state and local tax growth in Washington was the highest in the nation from 2015 to 2016. The state expects tax collections will top $50 billion for the first time during the next two-year budget cycle. That's $4 billion more than the last cycle and nearly $11 billion more than it had in 2015-17.

Washington has leveraged this growth to invest in important programs, dramatically increasing state funding for public education, for example.

But we need to recognize that this lottery-like period of growth is far from normal. And it has come at a time when Washington also steadily increased the cost of doing business here...

Read the guest commentary in The (Everett) Herald
Competitiveness Matters

Former Rep. Chandler: Inslee threat to prosperity

By Charles H. Featherstone in The Columbia Basin Herald

MOSES LAKE -- Gary Chandler has a message for Gov. Jay Inslee.

"Don't take away our opportunity to be competitive."

The drive for 100 percent clean energy would deprive the Pacific Northwest of its competitive edge on power prices, and the governor's proposed $4 billion in new taxes would hit the state's small business people particularly hard, Chandler said.

"The economy is good, but the economy is starting to slow," Chandler said. "Don't spend everything, don't tax everything."

Read the full story about Chandler's recent talk in The Columbia Basin Herald
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