Tax & Fiscal Policy

2019 Legislative Objectives


Washington’s employers are under constant cost and regulatory pressure, bearing 58 percent of the state and local tax burden. Washington collects the 7th-highest business share of state and local taxes among the 50 states. It is imperative that 2019-20 legislative challenges are met and resolved in a way that does not inhibit Washington’s ability to attract, maintain, and grow economic opportunity statewide, compete with lower‐cost states, and upholds certainty and fairness for taxpayers.


AWB supports legislation to:

1. Support a timely and balanced state budget, while promoting and protecting economic development opportunities throughout the entire state, and a healthy balance in the Budget Stabilization Account (aka, Rainy Day Fund).

2. Support efforts to improve and protect both the predictability and competitiveness of the tax code and structural tax incentives. AWB opposes a capital gains income tax.

3. Support efforts to create more high-wage jobs in the manufacturing sector. Support lowering the B&O tax for manufacturing in a manner that is not limited to geographic locations in the state.

4. Support efforts to increase research and development jobs in Washington.

5. Ensure taxpayers are treated fairly and equitably. Ensure that the Department of Revenue administers tax laws consistent with the best practices for the protection of taxpayer rights.

6. Support efforts to increase efficiency and fairness in the tax appeals process, including the creation of a judicial branch Tax Court.

7. Support legislation that clarifies the limits of local government taxing authority.

8. Support efforts to hold the Department of Revenue to the original intent of the state’s single factor apportionment formula. Support efforts to simplify municipal B&O tax apportionment rules consistent with EHB 2005 (2017).

9. Update, clarify or affirm tax laws to provide technical clarity and ensure legislative intent is met. Support updates to tax laws on digital automated services, exempt business inputs, and amendments that detail specific qualifying business activities.

10. Support reform of the Department of Revenue’s enforcement tools, including waiver and negotiated settlement authorities, and penalty provisions.

11. Oppose the diversion of industry paid taxes and fees assessed for statutorily authorized regulatory purposes to general fund purposes.

12. Increase transparency in state and local taxation. Oppose efforts to place businesses in a negative light or place undue administrative burdens or potential penalties on those who use tax incentives.

For More Information

For questions, please contact AWB’s Gary Chandler at 1-800-521-9325 or

PDF Version of this Legislative Objective