New Special Report on Manufacturing Jobs (Part I)

We're out today with Part One of a series of special reports on manufacturing jobs in Washington state. "Rebalancing Priorities: The Case for Manufacturing Jobs, Part I" covers the role of manufacturing in Washington's economy, and discusses Gov. Jay Inslee's recent veto of a tax reduction for state manufacturing.

Tax Foundation reports on worldwide corporate tax rates; U.S. among highest

Last week the Tax Foundation issued a report on corporate tax rates around the globe. In terms of statutory tax rates (the rate as written in law, as opposed to the effective rate which is the amount actually paid), the U.S. has the fourth highest in the world and the highest among industrialized countries.

From the report's introduction:

An area of agreement between the State and plaintiffs in the McCleary case

On August 30, plaintiffs in the McCleary case submitted their post-budget filing to the Supreme Court, and four amicus briefs were filed by other groups. (I wrote about these filings here.)

New McCleary briefs argue Legislature’s fix doesn't go far enough

On Wednesday the plaintiffs in the McCleary case filed a response to the state’s post-2017 session report to the Court. Four other groups also filed briefs with the Court. None agreed with the state that it is now in compliance with the McCleary decision. 

The rise of bottled water (which is now subject to sales tax)

As part of the 2017–19 operating budget process, the Legislature enacted EHB 2163 to raise revenues by making several tax changes. That includes applying the sales tax to bottled water, which is estimated to increase revenues by $54.6 million in 2017–19.

Policy Today podcast: McCleary Part 2 - Tax Revenues

Today's episode covers the new tax revenues in the recently passed K-12 basic education funding law, which the State of Washington hopes will fulfill its obligations in the Supreme Court's McCleary ruling.

Click here to read our Special Report on the new K-12 basic education law.

A technical point about the regionalization factor that increases salary allocations for some school districts

In a Seattle Times column yesterday, Donna Gordon Blankinship asks, “Why can’t school funding be fair?” She argues, “The state needs ample enough funding — as the Washington Constitution requires — so every child has the same opportunity to succeed in life, no matter what ZIP code they live in.”

She uses Yakima as an example:

Red tape, delays contribute to the cost of housing

In a couple of stories yesterday, the Seattle Times writes about a proposal to tax nonresident buyers of Seattle real estate as a way to address the high price of Seattle housing. The Times reports that City Attorney Pete Holmes said such a tax would be illegal.

Will voters keep approving school levies?

Since at least the 1970s, when the state Supreme Court ruled on the precursor to the McCleary case, the use of maintenance and operations (M&O) levies has been limited to enhancements to basic education. In practice, they were sometimes used for basic education purposes, which was part of the problem identified in the McCleary decision. EHB 2242, the education funding bill enacted this year, renames them “enrichment levies” to better reflect their purpose.

What do school districts mean when they say they’ll be worse off under new funding system?

Several school districts have expressed concern about the state’s new method of funding public schools (as enacted in EHB 2242; here’s our report on the bill). As Melissa Santos reports in the News Tribune,

District officials in Tacoma, Olympia and Seattle say they’ll face budget deficits under the state’s new school funding plan, with some saying they’ll be worse off than if lawmakers had done nothing.

Pages