The news keeps getting better at King County Metro Transit. Metro officials are the beneficiaries of record-breaking sales tax revenues, and are seeing large tax windfalls that were unthinkable just two years ago. Back then, Metro executives assumed their sales tax revenues would grow at a meager pace, and they planned to impose harsh bus cuts in many communities unless they raised taxes. However, a rebounding economy and swelling coffers should allow officials to keep bus service on the road without regressive tax increases.
A story today in The News Tribune demonstrates how the free market works and why government does not need to control the wages a business pays its workers.
Torklift International, a manufacturer of recreational vehicle parts and accessories in Sumner, has decided to raise the wages of its 55 employees to $15 an hour. The company made this decision voluntarily, because it was a good decision for their business.
A study released by the respected Tax Foundation last week ranks Washington among the top 10 most expensive states in which to live. The study calculates the real buying power of $100 in each state to measure the true cost of living.
School administrators across Washington are sending letters this week informing parents that families may now have the right to choose a better school and get free tutoring for their children under the federal No Child Left Behind law. Many school officials, however, are reluctant to explain the matter clearly to parents.
Yesterday Congressman Sam Graves (MO), who chairs the Committee on Small Business in the U.S. House of Representatives, sent a letter to the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy asking the agency to study the “rise of occupational licensing across states and the economic effects of licensing on entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs.”
Many ferry passengers have known for some time that the ferry system in our state is broken. Some state leaders have continuously fought to reform the troubled agency to restore the public trust, only to be met with fierce resistance from powerful labor unions and well-compensated upper management.
Emblazoned across the side of Seattle City Light vehicles is a logo, proclaiming it the "Nation's Greenest Utility." A cornerstone of that claim is that City Light is "carbon neutral."
Less known is that the City Light relies largely on carbon-free hydro and nuclear power, which account for about 94 percent of its energy, to make that claim. Ironically, these energy sources are not recognized as "renewable" by the state.
What seemed almost impossible a few months ago is becoming more probable with each passing day; taxes being charged for internet access. The return of taxes on internet access may occur due to the failure of Congress to either extend temporarily or permanently the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA). The current ban on internet access taxes expires on November 1.
The State Board of Education objects to using letter grades to make the State Board’s Public School Achievement Index understandable. The State Board ranks school performance, placing schools in one of six categories: Exemplary, Very Good, Good, Fair, Underperforming and Lowest 5 Percent.
That was the question I was hoping to answer today but after reviewing the state's August 20th response to the Centeno v. Dept. of Social & Health Services lawsuit in federal court the elusive answer will have to wait.
While requesting that case "be dismissed with prejudice" one section of the state's brief today said:
The City of Spokane Valley is the latest local government to consider a supermajority requirement to raise taxes – a WPC recommendation.
The two-thirds requirement is not unfamiliar to voters in the area; they have overwhelmingly approved it five times at the state level and watched as neighbors in the City of Spokane adopted the requirement last year.
An informative Spokesman-Review editorial today, citing figures from the state Office of Financial Management, notes that I-1351, the upcoming class-size initiative, would cost $4.7 billion through 2019, plus another $1.9 billion required from local school budgets. I-1351 includes no funding mechanism, so all this money would be taken from existing education programs, at a time when lawmakers are trying to comply with the McCleary decision on funding public education.