June 11, 2019

Calculating the hit to employers from new state taxes

By: Brian Mittge   Comments: 0
The Legislature passed a slate of new and increased taxes this year. A new set of business & occupations taxes on service-sector employers will have a major impact. AWB has put together a graphic (download it here) showing the extent of the new taxes -- how many employers will pay, and the dollar amount per industry sector.

This year the Legislature increased taxes on about 82,000 employers of the state's 380,000 businesses to provide greater financial support for higher education and workforce training. 

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. These are the folks that fund the philanthropy at their local Lions or Rotary Club, like doctors, lawyers, accountants, insurance agents, financial advisors and architects."

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.

The Legislature’s choices on where to spend these dollars reflect the input and advocacy of AWB’s government affairs team in education policy. AWB has been a leader and catalyst to return lawmaker attention to workforce development, for example when we hosted the first-ever AWB Workforce Summit in 2017, and through our ongoing work as co-chair of the Childcare Collaborative Task Force and position on the state’s Workforce Training & Education Coordinating Board.

To learn more, contact AWB's Clay Hill.