Several months ago DOR reached out to the small business community and what they found from over 1,100 comments was that the greatest tax complexity problems faced by Washington small businesses related to:
For many years there has been a national movement to mandate that private businesses provide paid sick days to their employees. This mandate was introduced into the Washington state legislature early last decade and went nowhere. Now, proponents are taking aim at cities in order to get legislation passed. Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Milwaukee and the state of Connecticut are the only jurisdictions that have a paid sick day ordinance in place, though several other cities have seen similar legislation introduced.
Yesterday's press release by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) is once again fanning the flames of an issue that had been fading away: do cell phones cause brain tumors?
A UK government report issued this week warns that climate change, in addition to threatening many different parts of everyday life, also threatens the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry.
CEO Magazine, which issued its annual "Best/Worst States for Business" this week, ranked Washington state below average at 34th. The more telling statistic from this survey of over 500 CEOs is that our state has fallen 18 spots over the last five years. In 2006 Washington ranked an above average 16th.
The survey takes into account "Taxes and Regulation," "Workforce Quality," and "Living Environment."
The best states: Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia.
The Governor recently signed two small business regulatory relief bills into law. These pieces of legislation mirror WPC recommendations on improving the state's small business climate through regulatory reform, an issue we've worked on for several years.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute released its annual report, 10,000 Commandments, today and the cost of federal regulations continues to increase. The 2011 report, which takes into account the cost of regulations up through calendar year 2008, shows that federal regulatory compliance costs are over $1.75 trillion, or about half of the total federal government's budget in 2010.
Yesterday, the House refused to allow a vote on SB 5566, the Senate's bi-partisan bill that would allow for voluntary settlement agreements (VSA) in the state's workers' compensation system. This is a mechanism that 44 other states utilize to help keep system costs down.
Legislators introduced Senate Bill 5945 today, which proposes a referendum to the voters to raise taxes on a variety of specific industries that some policymakers believe are benefiting from "tax preferences that lack such a statement or purpose, or were enacted under very different economic conditions than the conditions that prevail in 2011."
Among the industries that would see their tax rate jump are:
Late in the game during this 2011 Legislative Session, the House Democrats (48 of them anyway) introduced HB 2078 which "significantly narrow[s] a tax deduction for banks and other financial institutions, and repeal[s] a sales tax exemption for nonresidents."