February 12, 2018
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As house of origin cutoff nears, B&O tax among those items awaiting legislative action

This week will see a major milestone in this off-year legislative session -- the deadline for bills to pass their house of origin. AWB is monitoring hundreds of bills that could affect employers and the state's competitiveness. Among the most significant bills: B&O tax relief for the state's manufacturers. The Kitsap Sun joined those calling for "equal footing" for all manufacturers in an editorial published over the weekend.

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AWB Government Affairs team gives mid-session update; listen to it on AWB's new podcast channel

From carbon to capital gains taxes, transportation to education, AWB's Government Affairs team gave a complete but succinct update on the state of the Legislature during a mid-session update webinar last week. For those who didn't catch the live update, the full recording is available for download through your favorite podcast app by locating "The AWB Podcast" and clicking "subscribe."

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Administration unveils outline of infrastructure plan

The presidential administration released a broad look at its infrastructure plan this morning. The $1.5 trillion plan includes $200 billion in federal funding that aims to incentivize another $1.3 trillion in local investment. Anticipating infrastructure spending, last year AWB and other statewide groups put together a detailed infrastructure report.

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State hires consultant to analyze Washington's competitiveness for new Boeing airplane

Competitiveness matters, and to help see how Washington stacks up in the competition to land the next generation Boeing jetliner, the state has hired a national expert. The big question: "How competitive are we for landing Boeing's new jetliner?"

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Potential energy tax "devastating" for Washington, Senate Republican leader says at AWB Lobby Lunch

State revenues are strong, but more tax bills are underway in the current Legislative session that could harm small businesses and middle-class families, Republican leaders said last week at AWB's second 2018 Lobby Lunch. Olympia's "power lunch" concludes this Thursday with updates from Democratic legislative leaders. Seats are still available for this informative discussion as lawmakers head into their final few weeks of work.

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Congress approves two-year budget after short governmental shutdown

In a pre-dawn vote on Friday, Congress approved a massive new two-year spending bill, ending months of short-term budget extensions. Reluctant lawmakers pushed the vote past a midnight deadline, causing a brief government shutdown that most Americans slept through.

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A Backdoor Gas Tax Increase

Inslee's carbon tax bill unfair to middle class

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

Senate Bill 6203 will burden some people more than others, and that isn't fair.

The proposal -- also known as the carbon tax bill -- would impose an additional $10 per metric ton on carbon dioxide emissions in 2019. The amount would increase over time to $30 per metric ton by 2029.

The money raised would go to clean energy efforts and projects that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It also might encourage more people to buy vehicles that don't run solely on fossil fuel, Inslee said.

But adding that extra tax will mean gas prices will go up, and so will heating bills.

An analysis by the Washington Policy Center estimates the average family will spend $125 more on gasoline per year in 2019, and $375 more a year in 2029 if the tax is approved...

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald
Supporting all Washington Manufacturers

Equal footing for economic growth

By The Kitsap Sun Editorial Board

On the whole our state's B&O is seen as a misguided tax by many, since its collections are based on gross rather than net profits, and cities, including here in Kitsap, have been working to minimize its impact on small businesses by gradually lowering local B&O rates. It's a particular tax reform that's generally helpful to small business without creating an unaccountable giveaway that hurts public coffers, when implemented wisely.

Last summer's state budget agreement included a provision to expand the lower state B&O rate beyond the aerospace sector, applying it to all manufacturers. The provision, pushed by the Republican caucus but agreed to by Democrats in budget negotiations, wouldn't have completely eliminated state B&O, but it would have put all manufacturers on equal footing. That's a fair request in a state where Boeing and aerospace receive a deserved share of economic credit but aren't the only engine driving our future.

The measure was vetoed by Gov. Jay Inslee, who stated at the time he disagreed with being caught off-guard by its inclusion in a budget deal. In our view that was disappointing, given the work that went into the agreement, but this session the idea is back -- actually, two versions of it are. Competing Senate bills were in the Ways and Means committee as of Friday, both of which would gradually lower the B&O rate for all manufacturers to what's paid by the aerospace industry to the tune of about $64 million over the next four years...

Read the full editorial in The Kitsap Sun
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