Loopholes? Really?

Over on the Taxgirl blog, Kelly Phillips Erb ponders press coverage of Bill and Hillary Clinton's estate tax reduction strategies (Admit It: The Clintons Didn't Do Any Tax Planning You Wouldn't Do). Along the way, she discusses the misuse of the term "tax loophole."

May employment report shows state gained 4,000 jobs from April to May

The state Employment Security Department issued its employment report for May this morning. The preliminary estimate is that seasonally adjusted employment in Washington grew by 4,000  from April to May. The estimate of March to April job growth was revised upward to 8,900, from the preliminary figure of 7,700 announced in last month's report.  The preliminary estimate of May's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state is 6.1 percent, which is the same as the unrevised estimate for April.

Video of Wednesday Economic and Revenue Forecast Council meeting

Here is a link to yesterday's meeting of the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council:


New general fund state revenue forecast: up $156 million for 2013-15 biennium; up $234 million for 2015-17 biennium

The state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC) held its quarterly meeting today. The forecast of general fund-state revenue for the current biennium (2013-15) increased by $156.6 million to $33,169.9 million. The forecast of general fund-state revenue for the upcoming biennium (2015-17) increased by $238.3 million to $35,935.2 million.

Infrastructure and port competitiveness

Trade is an important part of Washington's economy.

Reduce regulations, increase innovation

In Politico, venture capitalist Mark Andreesen writes about how to create innovation clusters. Instead of trying to copy Silicon Valley, policymakers

State Supreme Court orders lawmakers to explain why they should not be held in contempt on school funding

The Court's has long signaled its impatience with the legislature's slow progress toward meeting the McCleary obligation to fund basic education. Wait until next year wasn't going to work again. Yesterday's action - an order to appear at a show cause hearing - steps up the pressure.

Thumbtack gives Washington a C grade for "small business friendliness" - low marks for regulation

Another business climate ranking came out recently. This one comes from Thumbtack.com, with support from the Kauffman Foundation.  Washington doesn't do so well. Unsurprisingly, the regulatory environment pulled the overall score down considerably.

Some of the key findings for Washington include:

Seattle may yet vote on $15 minimum wage; San Francisco will vote on one in November

The Puget Sound Business Journal explains how Seattle voters may still see a minimum wage issue on the November ballot. As we wrote yesterday, some business leaders felt pressured by the possibility of a $15 charter amendment.

May 11 - June 10 state revenue collections were $60.5 million above forecast

This morning the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council issued its monthly Economic and Revenue Update. Here are the key bullets on revenue from the summary: