Business and Finance

Budget, Finance & Revenue

Washington State Budget Update From 2015 Senior Lobby Fall Conference

Schumacher Budget Update Presentation

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Wash. Voters Once Passed An Income Tax By A Wider Margin

Washington state’s tax system has long been heaped with insults. Lately, it’s been called a jalopy, a Ford Pinto and the worst in the country. http://www.kplu.org/post/wash-voters-once-passed-income-tax-wider-margin-vote-legal-booze

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Do Wash. State Tax Breaks Level The Playing Field Or Reward The Powerful?

In 1915, there were 20 tax exemptions on Washington's books. By 1935, there were nearly 80. Now, there are more than 600, roughly 450 of which would generate some revenue for the state if repealed, according to state revenue officials. (See a visual breakdown of these exemptions here.)     http://www.kplu.org/post/do-wash-state-tax-breaks-level-playing-field-or-reward-powerful

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Projects across Mid-Columbia funded in transportation package

More than $100 million in Mid-Columbia projects are in the $16 billion transportation bill passed by the state House and Senate.  The package includes an 11.9-cent gas tax increase that would be phased in over two years. Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2015/07/01/3633720_lewis-street-bridge-gets-state.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy  

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Washington is odd state out on a capital-gains tax

By Laurie Jinkins Our tax system hurts middle-class and low-income families while the wealthiest reap record gains on Wall Street. “THE U.S. economy has recovered,” the news media tell us.The signs are everywhere: The stock market is up, business is booming, unemployment is down and corporate profits are through the roof. But if you look beneath the shiny exterior you see a different story. Families are working harder and harder but not seeing

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Understanding Washington State Taxes

To help you evaluate fiscal issues in our state, review the excellent guides listed below, prepared by the Washington State Senate's non-partisan staff. "A Citizen's Guide to Washington State Budget" "A Legislative Guide to Washington State Property Taxes" "A Citizen's Guide to Washington State K-12 Finance" "Legislative Guide to Washington State's Tax Structure"    

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Moneytree leads push to loosen state’s payday-lending law

Washington’s payday lenders have lost three-quarters of their business in the five years since a tough new state law restricting the high-cost loans marketed to poor families took effect. Now the industry, led by Seattle-based Moneytree, is lobbying state lawmakers to revamp the law. Lenders are backing legislation to eliminate traditional two-week payday loans and replace them with “installment loans” that would stretch repayment out for up

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More political games in Congress with our sales tax deduction

Nothing is more certain than death and taxes — and, seemingly, the December battle over the sales tax deduction. Again this year, Congress is going through the ritual of “deciding” whether to extend the deduction, which people in Washington and six other states rely on. The House on Wednesday approved a retroactive extension good for only 2014. Next year, it will be another fight. Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/12/04/3523421_more-political-games-in-congress.html?sp=/99http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/12/04/3523421_more-political-games-in-congress.html?sp=/99/447/465/&rh=1/447/465/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

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WSDOT: Freight congestion could cost Washington $3.3 billion, tens of thousands of jobs

The just-released Washington State Freight Plan, the most comprehensive Washington state has ever attempted, is an effort to prioritize where dollars should be spent to best help the state's freight transportation system.   http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2014/12/02/wsdot-freight-congestion-could-cost-washington-3-3.html

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I-1351 vs. 2-year colleges — and much else

Initiative 1351, which passed narrowly this month, was a smart bomb aimed squarely at Washington’s higher education and social welfare systems. The initiative ordered the Legislature to pump immense amounts of money into additional staff at the state’s public schools - $4.7 billion just through 2019. Yet it provided no revenues to do it, guaranteeing that the money would have to be diverted from other priorities. It even threatens to hamstring

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Budget Information

State Budget Update by David Schumacher, Director, OFM;   Revenue Reforms by Andrew Nicholas, Budget & Policy Center; & Report on Age Wave Forums & Solving LTC Services & Support Financing Puzzle.   David Schumacher -   State_budget_preliminary_outlook_presentation_September_- Andrew Nicholas -  2014 Revenue Reforms      Taxing Capital Gains FAQ Pete Subkoviak presentation (SEIU)         

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Task force may revive 2 unpopular taxes to fund state parks

OLYMPIA — A task force appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee wants to revive two unpopular taxes to help finance the state's park system and promote its outdoor recreation industry. The panel wants to bring back the sales tax on bottled water and the excise tax on motor homes and travel trailers to generate money to keep parks open. Some dollars also would fund new initiatives in the Department of Commerce to put outdoor recreation on equal footing with

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State Board of Education: New revenue needed to pay for schools

Yet another state educational agency is telling lawmakers that they’ll have to come up with new tax money to fully fund public schools. The State Board of Education this month took the unusual step of telling the Legislature that there’s no way the state can fully fund basic education without new revenue. Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/09/22/3393664_state-board-of-education-new-revenue.html?sp=/99/296/331/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

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Study: Washington last in nation in tax fairness

How fair is the tax system in Washington? #A study by Wallethub, an arm of the personal finance company Evolution Finance, ranks our system dead last among the 50 states for fairness in the local and state tax system. #Wallethub’s study, which you can read here, compares the actual way people are taxed to how Americans in general feel is fair. The study’s methodology included a nationwide survey. http://union-bulletin.com/news/2014/sep/22/study-washington-last-nation-tax-fairness/

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Add a need for adequate prison space to the big issues facing state lawmakers

As if school funding and mental health care didn't generate enough concerns for next year's Legislature, now there are dire reports about Washington's prison system. According to the Justice Reinvestment Task Force, providing adequate prison space over the next 10 years could cost between $387 million and $481 million, which just might be the legislative equivalent of squeezing blood from a turnip. http://www.columbian.com/news/2014/sep/09/in-our-view-correcting-corrections/

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Swallow hard, and accept a state income tax

Washington needs a revenue source or sources that are steady and capable of paying for the basics. I have a suggestion. It probably won’t surprise you, and I know many of you aren’t going to like it, but it would be better for us than a dose of cod-liver oil. This state should add a progressive income tax to its revenue mix. We never seem to get a handle on state funding. Our problems are intense when the economy is down, and the rest of the

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Guest: Is warehousing mental patients another state constitutional dilemma?

Article XIII in the Washington state constitution mandated that the state “foster and support” prisons, universities and institutions for the mentally ill, according to guest columnist Hugh Spitzer. http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2024404422_hughspitzeropedpsychiatricboarding28xml.html

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Can veterans on Medicaid move to VA care? One man’s answer saves $30M for Washington state

With the spotlight currently on appallingly long wait times at Veterans Affairs facilities, a program that works to move veterans from Medicaid coverage to federally funded health care is gaining recognition. http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/health-care-inc/2014/06/can-veterans-on-medicaid-move-to-va-care-one-mans.html?page=all

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Where are Washington’s K-12 dollars? Just ask Microsoft shareholders

In June, the Washington State Supreme Courtordered the Legislature to appear on September 3rd to explain why it hasn't found the revenue to fully fund the education reforms required by its McCleary ruling, reportedly as much as $7.83 billion through 2019. http://crosscut.com/2014/08/22/education/121586/where-money-k-12-washington-just-ask-microsoft/?page=single

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Can’t afford Health Insurance but can’t afford to do without

For More, see  Can't afford health insurance

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