Thursday, February 28, 2013

Next steps for the voter approved, but Court tossed 2/3 for taxes requirement

With today's long awaited ruling by the State Supreme Court striking down the five-time voter approved requirement first enacted in 1993 that tax increases receive a 2/3 vote of the legislature or voter approval, what happens next? That depends on our lawmakers . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The day legislative Democrats supported a 2/3 for taxes requirement

Based on the overwhelming support for I-1053 in 2010 and I-1185 in 2012 (both passing with 64%) it is safe to say that Democrats, Republicans and Independent voters across the state support the requirement for tax increases to receive a 2/3 vote or be sent to voters for approval. Despite I-1185 passing in 44 of the state's 49 legislative districts, however, that support does not appear to extend to Democrats in the Legislature (with a few exceptions). Judging from the vote on a bill in 2006, however, this was not always the case . . . READ MORE

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Legislative public notice for bill hearings starts to slip

Up to this week the Legislature had been doing a decent job of adhering to its rules that require a five-day public notice before a bill is heard in a hearing . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tax preference review bill introduced

A bipartisan bill to ensure tax preferences identify legislative intent and have performance metrics was introduced today by Senators Tom, Billig, Hill, Hobbs and Murray. Here is the intent section for SB 5843 . . . READ MORE

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Where's the love for jobs?

No matter where your turn the word from the White House to the Governor to our state lawmakers is jobs, jobs, jobs. Despite the professed love of entrepreneurs and growing our economy back to respectability, Washingtonians will be provided a glimpse this afternoon of five tax increase proposals that would cost jobs. I asked the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University to model the impact on jobs creation or destruction of the tax increase proposals being heard today in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Here are the results by bill on jobs (the numbers are the net difference between private sector jobs lost and public sector jobs gained) . . . READ MORE

Friday, February 8, 2013

Tax increase proposals scheduled for public hearing on Valentine's Day

The Senate Ways and Means Committee has scheduled public hearings for various tax increase bills on Valentine's Day next week (2/14). If all the bills were adopted, the projected 10-year tax increase would exceed $38 billion. That's a whole lot of love for taxpayers’ wallets but may not be the love letter Washingtonians were expecting in this tough economic climate. Here are the 10-year tax increase projections for the bills according to the Office of Financial Management . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Senate considers supermajority for taxes constitutional amendments

The Senate Government Operations Committee will hold a public hearing tomorrow (2/7) on three proposed constitutional amendments to cement the voters consistent support for requiring a supermajority vote to raise taxes. Voters in Washington have enacted or affirmed the two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases five times during the past 20 years . . . READ MORE

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Budget transparency bills introduced

Two bills were introduced in the House today that would improve the transparency of the state's various budgets (operating, capital and transportation). HB 1721 proposed by Representatives Pike, Alexander, Wilcox, Harris, Crouse and Overstreet would create a 72-hour timeout before votes could occur on appropriation bills. According to the intent section of HB 1721 . . . READ MORE

Monday, February 4, 2013

What to do about the state’s B&O tax and various preferences

The Everett Herald ran our op-ed yesterday calling for a Single Business Tax to eventually replace the current Business and Occupation Tax (B&O). From the op-ed . . . READ MORE