April 8, 2019
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AWB to Legislature: No need for taxes, and save for a rainy day

With three weeks left in the legislative session, the Democratic majorities in both chambers have passed their proposed budgets. The negotiation between the chambers will now begin in earnest. AWB is continuing to emphasize that the state has a strong surplus from existing tax revenue, and that with a recession on the horizon, there is no need to raise taxes on employers or families.

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Amazon announces new urban campus in downtown Bellevue

Citing Bellevue's "business-friendly environment" among other factors, Amazon announced last week that it would be moving thousands of jobs from downtown Seattle to a new urban campus in the core of Bellevue.

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AWB testifies against Low-Carbon Fuels bill; measure remains in Senate Transportation Committee as deadline nears

The Senate Transportation Committee heard more than two hours of testimony on the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) bill Thursday evening, but did not take a vote. A similar LCFS mandate in California is dramatically increasing the cost of fuel.

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Nikki Haley to give keynote address at Spring Meeting

AWB's Spring Meeting in Spokane will feature a keynote from Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations from 2017-19. Prior to serving as America's 29th permanent representative to the U.N., Haley was elected twice to serve as governor of South Carolina. Her keynote address, sponsored by Boeing, will mark the second time that AWB's Spring Meeting has been held in the Davenport Grand hotel's spacious ballroom.

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Spring Meeting
Practical Education

Expand career-connected learning across Washington state

By Maud Daudon

If you're a Washington business owner or manager wondering where to find skilled workers, you're not alone. And if you're a Washington parent or high school student, wondering how to get from school to a great job, you're not alone either.

You may also be the solution to each other's problem.

Last summer, the Career Connect Washington initiative convened groups of parents to discuss education and career preparation in Washington state. As part of a 10-year effort, we are learning how to better help students connect to both jobs and advanced education so they will be well positioned to step into the state's job market. Business, labor and education organizations are all stepping up; we need the Legislature to act as well...

Read the full guest column in The Seattle Times
Fiscally Unwise

A Capital Gains Tax Would Not Improve Budget Sustainability

By The Washington Research Council

Although the March revenue forecast increased estimated state revenues for the 2017-19 and 2019-21 biennia, the House Appropriations Committee Chair proposed a new capital gains tax along with his 2019-21 operating budget. The Senate is also considering a capital gains tax, although in this case the proceeds would be used to reduce other taxes rather than to increase the operating budget.

A capital gains tax would be highly volatile. Taxpayers can arrange their affairs to avoid them, and the value of capital gains realized by Washington taxpayers varies significantly year to year. Also, swings in capital gains are much bigger in percentage terms than swings in state sales tax revenue. Volatile taxes require stronger reserves to manage downturns, but the House bill would avoid constitutionally-required transfers to the rainy day fund by directing revenues from the tax to the education legacy trust account.

Additionally, a capital gains tax would certainly be challenged as an unconstitutional income tax. Even if it were eventually found to be constitutional, a court case would likely mean that any revenues would be suspended until after 2019-21. Building the budget around such a tax would be risky at best...

Read the full report from the Washington Research Council
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