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Erin Shannon
Washington Policy Center|washingtonpolicy.org

In his recent state of the state address, Gov. Jay Inslee unveiled his “Working Washington Agenda,” a package of “legislative proposals to create and sustain a thriving economic climate.” In a press conference, the Governor claimed his plan will “create a positive climate for job growth” and “give Washingtonians the tools to get back to work.”

The governor’s five-prong plan centers around expanding and enhancing STEM education, providing targeted tax relief for research-based, high-tech industries, investing in the state’s aerospace industry with aerospace education and training programs and targeted tax breaks, investing in clean energy, and embracing the health care reforms and Medicaid expansion to create jobs.

I guess Inslee’s plan might be good news if you are in the high-tech, research, clean energy, aerospace or health care industries. read more »



On June 21, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) officials reported that the state-run monopoly workers’ compensation system faces a budget shortfall of $3.1 billion. (The sale of private workers’ compensation insurance is illegal in Washington.) In order to close the gap and prevent insolvency of the workers’ compensation contingency reserve fund, the department would need to impose a rate surcharge of 19 percent every year over the next 10 years.

The 19 percent payroll tax increase would be in addition to whatever annual rate increases the department may impose each year to cover inflation and increases in workers’ compensation costs. This means every employer in Washington who must pay into the mandatory state workers’ compensation program would shoulder a tax increase of 19 percent or more every year until 2022. read more »


In 2008, Washington state changed how most businesses must collect local retail sales tax for products sold to customers through the mail or delivered to your home or business. SSB 5089, passed by the legislature in 2007, required a switch from origin-based to destination-based collection of sales tax for some of the state’s retail businesses.

Under the pre-2008 origin-based system, all Washington state retailers collected local sales tax based on the point-of-sale jurisdiction — the location from which a product was purchased. The local sales tax collected by retailers was the same for goods purchased by walk-in customers as for goods shipped to another locale within the state. The new destination-based tax structure requires retailers shipping their goods within the state to collect the tax based on the delivery location of the customer; that is, the destination of a product. read more »


May 20-26 was National Small Business Week. Around the country, government officials paid homage to the small business owners who drive innovation in our national and state economies.

The recognition is certainly well deserved, but small businesses need more than a week of ceremonial platitudes in order to create the jobs that will spur our national and state economies out of recession.

What small business desperately need is real relief — relief from over-regulation, high taxes, and burdensome labor laws — at both the federal and state levels. read more »


Declaring, “Small businesses are the backbone of Washington’s economy,” Governor Gregoire kicked off 2012 with a proposal to help businesses by simplifying the payment of Business & Occupation Taxes and centralizing state and local business licensing.

The Governor noted, “…it’s small businesses that employ the vast majority of our workers…If we can make it easier and cheaper for them to do business, they can afford to add more employees. This is the key to our economic recovery and to our social fabric.” read more »

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