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 19 , 2021 - WRC

New brief: Senate- and House-Passed Operating Budgets Would Needlessly Drain the Rainy Day Fund

The Senate and House have passed broadly similar operating budgets. Both would impose a capital gains tax. Both would increase spending from funds subject to the outlook (NGFO) by double digits in 2021–23. Both would appropriate billions of dollars in federal relief funds. Both would drain the rainy day fund. Across the 2021 supplemental and […]

April 16 , 2021 - Kriss Sjoblom

State tax collections exceed forecast

Yesterday’s monthly report from the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) on general fund revenue collections once again showed revenues significantly above forecast. This is in spite of the large upward revision to the forecast that the ERFC made just a month ago. For the sales tax, the use tax, the business and occupation […]

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 15 , 2021 - Kriss Sjoblom

In Washington 17,281 filed initial claims for regular unemployment insurance last week

This morning the state Employment Security Department (ESD) gave its weekly report on unemployment insurance claims. ESD reported a total of 22,322 initial claims for unemployment insurance during the week ending April 10. Of this total, 17,281 initial claims were filed under the regular state unemployment insurance program; 2,249 claims were under the federal pandemic […]

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 […]