Washington Research Council

Emily Makings

April 20 , 2021 - Emily Makings

Washington adopts goal to double the manufacturing employment base in the next decade

Gov. Inslee has signed SHB 1170. According to the bill, the legislature intends to identify and invest in strategies to ensure every geographic region of the state can benefit from a strong manufacturing and research and development base, with the goal of doubling the state’s manufacturing employment base, the number of small businesses, and the […]


April 16 , 2021 - Emily Makings

Businesses that lost 25% of revenues last year may ask for property tax deferrals under bill signed today

Today Gov. Inslee signed ESHB 1332. The bill requires county treasurers to grant due date extensions for property taxes payable in 2021 for businesses that lost at least 25% of their revenue from leasing or renting the property or from their business activities at the property in CY 2020 (compared to CY 2019). Requests for […]


April 16 , 2021 - Emily Makings

To fund housing programs, bill would impose a $100 document recording surcharge

The House-passed operating budget assumes passage of HB 1277. As passed by the House, E2SHB 1277 would impose a $100 surcharge on recorded documents. (Some documents would be exempt from the surcharge, including documents recording births and marriages.) Of the revenues from the surcharge, 5% would go to the affordable housing for all account (for […]


April 15 , 2021 - Emily Makings

To opt out of the long-term care program, private coverage will have to be purchased by Nov. 1

In 2019, the Legislature passed a payroll tax to fund a new long-term care (LTC) benefit. Under the legislation, the tax will begin on Jan. 1, 2022 and will initially be set at a rate of 0.58%. There is no cap on the wages subject to the tax. The lifetime maximum benefit is essentially $36,500 […]


April 14 , 2021 - Emily Makings

Legislature passes captive insurance bill that will increase state revenues

The Legislature has passed 2SSB 5315, which will subject captive insurers to the 2% premium tax. Captive insurers are insurance companies controlled by the entities they insure. We wrote about the policy in a policy brief earlier this year. The bill is expected to increase revenues to funds subject to the outlook by $34.2 million […]


April 09 , 2021 - Emily Makings

Including federal relief funds, the spending increases in the operating budget proposals are extraordinarily high

As I showed yesterday, the state has already allocated or appropriated $7.311 billion in federal relief dollars. On top of that, the Senate-passed operating budget would appropriate $6.837 billion and the House-passed operating budget would appropriate $8.776 billion in federal relief over three years. This relief funding does not just maintain state spending (as the […]


April 08 , 2021 - Emily Makings

Senate- and House-passed budgets would appropriate $8.426 billion and $10.166 billion, respectively, in federal relief funding

Federal COVID relief legislation since March 2020 has appropriated more than $24 billion that has flowed or will flow through Washington’s state and local governments. Allocations from the latest bill, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, are still being determined, so the $24 billion figure will grow. (Indeed, note that the numbers in this post […]


April 06 , 2021 - Emily Makings

House-passed operating budget would appropriate $1.189 billion less than the Senate over three years

On Saturday the House passed its operating budget. As passed, it would appropriate $52.319 billion from funds subject to the outlook (NGFO) for 2019–21 (a decrease of 2.6% over the 2020 supplemental) and $58.479 billion from the NGFO for 2021–23 (an increase of 11.8% over the proposed 2021 supplemental). The House-passed budget would appropriate $1.189 […]


April 02 , 2021 - Emily Makings

Senate-passed operating budget would appropriate $59.282 billion for 2021–23, plus more than $6 billion in federal relief funds (over three years)

Yesterday the Senate passed its operating budget. As passed, the 2021 supplemental to the 2019–21 budget would appropriate $52.704 billion from funds subject to the outlook (NGFO). That’s a reduction of 1.9% from the enacted 2020 supplemental, but an increase of 17.9% over 2017–19. The 2021–23 biennial budget would appropriate $59.282 billion from the NGFO, […]


April 01 , 2021 - Emily Makings

New operating budget proposal from W&M ranking member would reduce taxes, leave the rainy day fund intact

Yesterday Sen. Wilson, ranking member of Ways & Means, proposed a striking amendment to the Senate operating budget. She had previously proposed a budget back in February, without the benefit of the improved March revenue forecast or the latest federal relief bill. The new proposal would appropriate $3.780 billion less in 2021–23 from funds subject […]