June 10, 2019
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Calculating the hit to employers from new state taxes



Who will pay Washington's increased B&O tax on service-sector employers, and how much will they pay? The impacts of the Legislature's new taxes (as implemented in House Bill 2158) are wide-ranging.

To help tell the story of this increased tax load on employers, AWB has put together a concise new one-pager, showing the full impact by industry sector.

"This was the biggest tax bill of the session, impacting the most taxpayers," said Clay Hill, AWB government affairs director for tax and fiscal policy. "The one-pager shows that Main Street business bears the primary burden."

Hill noted that as the bill was being crafted, revised and debated, AWB's government affairs team brought up information and advocated for clarification on details of how the tax would be administered, resulting in amendments that saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

In doing so, AWB's Government Affairs team's firm advocacy on education policy set the table for where investments should be directed: workforce development.

To learn more, contact AWB's Clay Hill.



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Housing Forum
Manufacturing Solutions


A way forward on immigration

By Edmund O. Schweitzer III and Jay Timmons

Manufacturers are in the business of building solutions. When we see a need to be filled or a problem to be solved, manufacturers go to work innovating and making the products that improve our daily lives. But we don't stop there. When we see our nation facing a challenge, we don't just call on our legislators to fix it; we also provide solutions.

That's exactly what manufacturers have done to help fix our nation's broken immigration system. Earlier this year, the National Association of Manufacturers released "A Way Forward," a plan for comprehensive immigration reform that bolsters border security while strengthening the economy and providing certainty for those immigrants who are anxious about their future...

Legislation soon up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives and similar bills recently introduced in the U.S. Senate would provide a solution for these two populations, and manufacturers are calling on Congress to act swiftly. While this is not a comprehensive solution, these bills are a way to move our nation one step closer to a more functional immigration system, and for that reason, they should command strong, bipartisan support. It is simply the right thing to do...

Read the full op-ed in The Spokesman-Review
Unsustainable Budget Growth


State budget growth puts Washington in tight spot during next downturn

By AWB President Kris Johnson

State government will spend more than $52.8 billion over the next two years. This is an increase of about 18.3 percent over the previous two-year budget and one of the biggest increases in the last 25 years.

It's true there are many competing demands for resources, but lawmakers had $5.6 billion more to work with, before raising taxes. Rather than look for cost savings, they chose to raise more than $1 billion in new taxes.

It's a safe bet that most Washington families and small businesses did not increase their spending by 18.3 percent this year. This pace of expansion is unsustainable. When the tax collections drop, that usually means painful budget cuts and more tax increases.

Lawmakers made progress on important issues this year, but it came at a high cost. As they work through the interim and prepare for the next budget, our hope is that lawmakers will tap the brakes and slow the growth in state spending.

Washington has enjoyed years of strong economic growth, but we need to be prepared for the next downturn.

Read the full op-ed in The Wenatchee World
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