Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We are now finishing up the third week of the 60-day legislative session in Olympia. I appreciate the trust you have put in me to weigh the many heavy issues we are discussing, including:
- A transportation tax package;
- Low Carbon Fuel Standards for Washington state;
- Education funding and teacher COLAs; and
- Job creation and retention policies, such as business and occupation tax reform.
Join my telephone town hall Feb. 5. Your voice has been, and will continue to be, the most important way for me to ensure I vote in ways reflective of the diverse 35th District. This is why I am hosting an hour-long telephone town hall on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. To take part in the call, just dial toll-free 1-800-761-5294. The phone line will open shortly before the call begins. To ask me questions directly during the call, just press star (*) on your telephone keypad.
Job creation and retention should be the Legislature's top priority. Growing the economy with good-paying, private-sector jobs is the way to fund K-12 education fully, provide for public safety and support the services needed by our most vulnerable residents.
I introduced House Bill 2264 to jumpstart job creation in our state. The bill would refine our state's business and occupation tax (B&O) structure and help small businesses succeed by offering a flexible tax structure. Specifically, it would offer businesses choices of relief from the state's B&O tax, which is the tax applied to businesses' gross receipts. “Gross receipts” is defined as gross income, or the total sales receipts before payroll and other business expenses. Different rates are applied based on business activity classifications, such as manufacturing, retail, or service sectors.
Instead of the current structure of B&O tax and credits for certain industries, House Bill 2264 would give businesses a choice of three deductions from the B&O tax in each filing year:
- costs of goods sold;
- 30 percent of gross revenue; or
- up to $300,000 in employee compensation.
Businesses could choose whichever deduction results in a greater benefit to their tax liability. This is one step the Legislature could take right now to create a business-friendly environment for job creators and I hope it receives serious consideration.
I recently sent out a short mailer with a survey to 35th District residents. You can also take the survey online by clicking here. Your feedback helps me serve you in meaningful ways.
As always, if you have a question, solution or comment, please feel free to contact my office.