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Posts tagged: business taxes

WA No. 6 for good biz tax structure

Washington state has the sixth best structure for business taxes in the country, the Tax Foundation said.

In its annual report on state tax “climates”, the foundation gave Washington high marks…as it usually does. 

This may surprise people who have heard the business community complain about the state’s tax structure or notice that pro-business groups often give campaign money to candidates who vow to change it. . . 

WA ranked No. 6 for biz climate

Candidates trying to make points this year by decrying Washington as a terrible place to do business, take heed: One national organization rates Washington No. 6 for its “business tax climate.”

That's sixth from the top, or best state (Wyoming), not sixth worst (New York).

The Tax Foundation, which also alerts us when we have passed the “tax freedom day” when we are no longer working for the government and the taxes levied upon us, gives Washington good marks. Which it usually does, because it gives high scores to states that don't have a personal income tax, a corporate tax or a sales tax. Because Washington doesn't have the first, even though it is near the bottom on the third, it gets a huge boost over, say, Idaho, which has all three and is No. 20 on the list.

Washington was No. 6 last year, also, and No. 8 the year before.

Of course, there is more to business climate to taxes, just as there is more to weather climate than temperature. Transportation, education and regulations all play into the mix. Unemployment remains  higher in Washington than the national average, so if you don't  have a job, something like the business tax climate is, at best, a secondary concern.

Still, this must be disconcerting to campaigns that are predicated at least in part on telling voters how bad the economy is, in order to get them to vote for or against someone or something.

Perhaps that's why the folks for Initiative 1185, a ballot measure to re-up the two-thirds majority for taxes, didn't send out a copy of a map showing Washington as No. 6 on the business tax climate list. Instead, they sent out a Tax Foundation map from last April, that showed Washington as among the later states to reach the tax freedom day.

That map can be found here.

Tax amnesty funds coming. How much is the question

OLYMPIA – Local governments should see a jump in tax revenue in mid May as the state funnels some $57 million from a recent tax amnesty to them, but the exact amount each city and county will see from the program won’t be known for weeks.
A state Department of Revenue spokesman said the increase in revenue from businesses that didn’t pay their sales and use taxes could be roughly equal to each area’s share of the state’s economy. The city of Spokane represents about 3.7 percent of the economy in the state’s most recent figures, and all of Spokane County about 6.8 percent, Mike Gowrylow said.
Using that yardstick, the city could see an extra $2.1 million and all governments around the county a total of $3.9 million. But that assumes businesses that avoided or underpaid taxes until the amnesty was offered are equally distributed throughout the state, and they probably aren’t, Gowrylow said.
“Some communities are going to see bigger bumps. It depends on where the business was located,” he said.

To read the initial report on money from the tax amnesty program, click here.

To read Sunday's column on the tax amnesty program, click here.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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