September 23, 2019
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AWB Institute releases new study on economic impact from lack of affordable child care

If you’re a parent, you know that finding high-quality, affordable child care can be a major challenge. Washington state has a shortage of child care providers, and those spots that are available sometimes cost as much as college tuition.

A new report released last week, “The Mounting Costs of Child Care: Impacts of child care affordability and access to Washington’s Employers and Economy,” at the AWB Policy Summit shows this isn’t just an issue for families — it’s costing Washington employers more than $2 billion per year in employee turnover or missed work and the total cost to the state economy is more than $6.5 billion per year.

The report was based on a survey of 400 Washington households with children under the age of 6. The findings confirm what many families already know: Finding high-quality childcare is difficult, and when it is available it’s expensive. For a typical single parent, the report found more than half of their income would go toward child care expenses.

Amy Anderson from AWB's government affairs team is a member of the Washington State Child Care Collaborative Task Force. That group produced the report in collaboration with the AWB Institute, Child Care Aware of Washington, Children’s Alliance, Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

In releasing the report last week, she said that when AWB first began working on the issue of early childhood education and child care, some asked why the business community had an interest in the issue. She said that this report shows that people are leaving jobs, not accepting jobs and foregoing education opportunities because they can’t find or afford child care, she said.

“It’s a workforce issue. It’s an education issue. It’s a rural issue,” Anderson said. “Most important, it’s a Washington issue. We need to educate people and make them aware.”

Olympia Business Watch has more on the report and the partnership that produced it.

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Arguments Against a State Income Tax

An income tax is not in our best interest

By Washington Treasurer Duane Davidson

Today, we are at a point where Washington legislators need to reexamine their financial practices and consider the consequences of their actions that have led some to consider establishing a state income tax.

The historically unpopular notion of introducing an income tax is not exactly new to Washington, yet it has seen growing interest from income tax supporters in big city government and from certain state lawmakers who would pass income tax legislation if given the opportunity.

As Washington State Treasurer, four-term Benton County Treasurer, and licensed CPA for over 25 years, I have cultivated an automatic sense of duty to advocate for fiscal responsibility. When I see such disregard for taxpayers, my obligation is to stand up for what is right on their behalf.

Many of the legislature's self-induced financial woes have readily available remedies that do not involve raising taxes or adding an income tax, making it apparent to me that as a state we have some serious financial issues within our legislative practices we need to start addressing...

Taxing income would weaken Washington's thriving economy and reduce our capacity to compete for business. We need to agree on improving our habits and reigning in state debt before considering the addition of new taxes. An income tax is not in our best interest.

Read the full guest column in The Tri-City Herald