Getting short on time for manufacturing tax relief in 2018 legislative session: More on why it matters

The Association of Washington Business continues to promote manufacturing tax relief. In yesterday’s Fast Facts newsletter, AWB wrote,

House and Senate budget negotiators continue to craft a supplemental operating budget agreement. One issue is whether to provide tax relief for manufacturing and whether that relief should be limited to “rural” areas (see House Bill 2992). Read last week’s blog post at Olympia Business Watch for more on how AWB is advocating for all manufacturers to see B&O tax relief.

AWB is calling on lawmakers to act this session to show support for a sector that’s falling behind other parts of the economy. Time is running out for legislators to help ensure that Washington is a competitive place for manufacturers, whether in the industrial working waterfront of Seattle or across the state in struggling rural communities that are equally dependent on the quality, high-paying jobs that manufacturing employers provide.

We have written often of the importance of the tax relief vetoed by the governor last year. And we included links to these effective short videos produced by AWB. 

Lori Matson, president and CEO of the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce makes the case for statewide tax relief in the Tri-City Herald.

The good news is lawmakers are currently considering bills that would reinstate the uniform B&O tax relief, a move that would jump-start job creation in every part of the state.

House Bill 2992, sponsored by Reps. Mike Chapman, D-Port Angeles, Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic and Dick Muri, R-Steilacoom, is a good start to the conversation on how to reverse the trend of manufacturing job losses. Unfortunately, the bill narrows the tax relief to apply to manufacturing operations in just 30 of the state’s 39 counties.

It excludes nine counties, including Benton and Spokane counties in Eastern Washington. Here in the Tri-Cities, we know we’re one region, so it makes sense to include all manufacturers, no matter their location.

A small change to the bill to make the reduced B&O tax rate apply statewide would send a positive signal of tax certainty to manufacturers across Washington as well as demonstrate an understanding that the entire sector needs room for more investment in their operations, regardless of where the business happens to be based.

The bill, with the small change, would help roughly 12,500 small- and medium-sized manufacturers in Washington invest in their employees and create jobs. That rising tide would lift all boats.

Right. And like AWB, Matson concludes, 

With less than one week left in the 2018 legislative session time is running short to pass this tax relief. However, it’s not too late to reach out to legislators in your district and explain what tax relief would mean for your business, your employees and your communities.

The clock is ticking.