Taking vetoes into account, the budget doesn’t balance over four years (plus, a note on minimum wage disemployment effects)
The Legislature passed a 2017–19 operating budget that balanced over four years; an outlook prepared for the compromise indicated unrestricted ending fund balances of $985 million in 2017–19 and $42 million in 2019–21.
Last month the Tax Foundation came out with a special report on state's inheritance and estate taxes, which included a special distinction for Washington state:
The Evergreen State imposes the highest top marginal estate tax rate in the nation, imposing a 20 percent rate on taxable estate values above $9 million. The state has an inflation-adjusted exemption which currently stands at $2.129 million.
We're pleased and honored to have received a Certificate of Merit for Most Distinguished Research from the Governmental Research Association, for our 2016 Special Report "The Growth Management Act at 25 Years."
The GRA's Most Distinguished Research category is for research that is
Yesterday the Legislature submitted what could be its final report to the state Supreme Court on its progress in responding to the McCleary decision.
Tucked into the $43.7 billion operating budget are several requirements for studies and audits. They didn’t make it into our overview of the budget, but I thought some are worth highlighting:
In a new policy brief, we provide an overview of the 2017-19 operating budget, as passed by the Legislature on June 30. Briefly:
We have an op-ed in today's Seattle Times on Gov. Inslee's recent veto of a reduced Business & Occupation (B&O) tax rate for manufacturing companies in Washington state. We argue that manufacturing jobs are a crucial component of providing workers with good-paying middle-class jobs, and that tax incentives will encourage companies to come here, stay here and possibly expand here:
The operating budget compromise included a reduction of the B&O tax rate for all manufacturers—will it be signed by the governor?
In order to balance the operating budget, the Legislature passed two bills that will increase revenues by an estimated $2.070 billion in 2017–19 and $3.358 billion in 2019–21.
The state average wage increased in 2016, which will affect some state programs with benefits tied to it
According to the Employment Security Department, the average annual wage in the state increased to $58,957 in 2016. (The 4.8 percent increase over 2015 is apparently the largest percentage increase since 2007.) The 2016 average weekly wage was $1,133.