Mission and History

The Washington Research Council examines how public policy issues will affect business, government, and the community. Research is based on facts from reliable data sources and informed by economic analysis with an appreciation of the power of free markets. Council reports are accurate, relevant, and timely.

Mission Statement

To provide timely, credible economic research and policy analysis supporting economic vitality and private sector job creation.


The Washington Research Council is the state’s premier business-supported research organization. Opinion-leaders, business owners, and legislators respect it for its nonpartisan and authoritative analysis.


The Research Council grew out of the 1954 merger of the Washington State Taxpayers Association (WSTA) and the Washington Bureau of Governmental Research, Inc., each founded in 1932. Most of our history can be traced through the WSTA.

An activist group, WSTA was described in early publications as “a federation of county and local tax reduction groups . . . .” It focused on three main activities: supporting local tax associations, informing voters on ballot measures, and working with the Legislature on tax policy. In 1945, the plan for the future was to “urge and assist in the formation” of taxpayers’ groups in every county. By 1954 the tone had changed quite dramatically. A major membership campaign boasted of a “nonpartisan, fact-finding organization” providing a “positive voice for efficiency and economy.”

The new Washington Research Council was well received. An editorial in the Seattle Times stated that taxpayers and lawmakers needed information “based on expert and disinterested research. The formation of the Council for the accomplishment of this purpose is a salutary development in the state’s public affairs.”

The Research Council continues to provide nonpartisan analysis on issues affecting state and local government. We’ve reviewed our mission, goals and structure and adopted long-range strategic plans with annual objectives. Focusing on a strong communications program and increased presence throughout the state, WRC remains a vital, well-respected resource for state and local leadership, the media, and the public. Business leaders support WRC because they believe that this organization plays a vital role in promoting responsible policies based on facts.