This year's contender for the Little Legislation That Could, House Bill 1017, appears to finally be on its way to passage in the state Legislature.
The House 2017–19 budget proposal would increase spending by $6.408 billion over 2015–17. Of that, $933.9 million is carryforward, $2.251 billion is maintenance, and $3.223 billion is policy.
In today's episode we discuss Washington state's less-than-stellar system for tax appeals, and how it could be improved. We recently wrote a report on making the state tax-appeals process more fair -- which could include the creation of a state tax court. Bipartisan legislation to do just that has been introduced in the state Legislature this year.
The House budget proposal, released today, would appropriate $44.862 billion in 2017–19 (NGFS+). This is an increase of $6.408 billion over 2015–17, and it is $1.548 billion more than the Senate-passed budget would spend.
Early Friday morning, the Senate passed a 2017–19 operating budget. As passed, near general fund–state plus opportunity pathways (NGFS+) spending for the biennium would be $43.314 billion, an increase of $4.860 billion over the current biennium.
The BLS reports that average weekly earnings for private nonfarm employees was $1,048.73 in Washington in 2016. This ranked 1st among the 50 states. (Link)
Washington’s average weekly earnings for production workers on manufacturing payrolls was a bit higher, $1,099.07, which ranked 3rd among the states. (Link)
We're delighted to welcome state Rep. Drew Stokesbary (R-Auburn) to the podcast. As soon as we saw all the "Arrested Development" gifs populating his Twitter feed we knew he'd be the perfect guest. We sat down at the state Capitol in Olympia to chat about him being a younger member of the Legislature, how he got into politics and government, and his approach to working across the aisle. Other random topics of discussion: Kim Jon Un and Dick Cheney. Plus, Drew fits in a reference to "The Office" and we totally miss it.
In this episode we discuss our recent Special Report, "Using Tax Policy to Promote Economic Vitality." Too often, adjustments to our state tax system are portrayed simply as "breaks" that give certain industries and/or companies special treatment. But as our report shows, these adjustments play a crucial role in keeping Washington competitive with other states for jobs and economic activity that could very easily go elsewhere.