New report: Spending and Revenues of Select Washington Counties

In a new special report, we compare the spending and revenues of Benton, Franklin, King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. This is the second of several special reports we are producing on county revenues and spending. (The first focused on King County.)

New report: King County: Spending and Revenues

In a new special report, we review the spending and revenues of King County. This is the first of several reports we are producing on county revenues and spending. On both the taxation and expenditure sides, local governmental activities are significant. We have started with our three largest counties and two more located in the Tri-Cities area, where notable economic growth has recently occurred. We will be periodically updating this information, and broadening our reach to other areas of the state.

New brief: I-1366: A Choose Your Own Tax Adventure for Legislators

In a new policy brief, we take a look at Initiative 1366, which will be on the ballot this fall. Briefly,

  • I-1366 would reduce the state sales tax from 6.5 percent to 5.5 percent unless the Legislature refers a constitutional amendment to voters for approval.
  • The constitutional amendment would require two-thirds legislative approval to increase taxes.
  • It would also require a majority vote of the Legislature for fee increases.
  • A supermajority was first required to raise taxes when I-601 was approved in 1993.
  • Since then, it has been suspended by the Legislature and reaffirmed by voters many times.
  • The state Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 2013.
  • If the sales tax is reduced by 1 percent, it would reduce state revenues by $1.590 billion in 2015–17 and by $3.066 billion in 2017–19.
  • Such a loss of sales tax revenues would significantly impact the state budget.
  • Some may consider the crisis atmosphere created by a sales tax reduction an opportunity to increase other taxes or levy entirely new ones.

New report: Regulatory Reform: A Win-Win-Win for Agencies, Businesses, and Taxpayers

We have a new special report looking at a series of regulatory reform audits from the State Auditor's Office. Briefly:

New brief: A Current Law Transportation Budget is Enacted; Will a New Transportation Revenue Package be Next?

Although a new transportation revenue package has not been agreed to yet, a current law transportation budget for 2015-17 has been enacted. We take a look at what's included in a new policy brief. Briefly:

New brief: The 2015-17 Budget Undercard: Capital Appropriations

We take a look at the House and Senate capital budget proposals in a new policy brief. Briefly:

New brief: College Affordability, Two Ways

In a new policy brief, we look at the College Affordability Program, which is the Senate's plan to reduce tuition for 2015-17. Briefly:

New brief: 2015-17 Operating Budget: Spending Priorities

We have a new policy brief comparing the House- and Senate-passed operating budgets. Briefly: