Business Climate

WPC's Center for Small Business focuses on improving Washington's small business climate by working closely with business owners and policymakers. The Center provides accurate information and analysis on the state's regulatory climate, tax structure, health insurance systems, and more.


The Effect of Tax Preferences on B&O Taxes Paid by Washington Businesses

March 7, 2009 in Publications

In late January the Senate Ways and Means Committee and House Finance Committee held a joint hearing to receive testimony from JLARC staff and Commission members on the Citizen Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences’ latest report.

Expanded “Family Security Act” Will Expand Government Benefits and Raise Payroll Taxes

March 7, 2009 in Publications

Legislators are proposing to expand and fund the Paid Family Leave Act, which was passed into law in 2007. As originally passed, the program would send qualified recipients a check for $250 per week for up to five weeks—$1,250 total. Beneficiaries of the new entitlement would be eligible if their family had recently given birth to, or adopted, a baby.

Procurement Policies and the Differences among Open Source Software, Open Standards, and Open Government

March 2, 2009 in Publications

Most computer software is sold like any other commercial product and is protected by U.S. intellectual property laws (primarily copyright and patent protection). Such software products are sold under defined legal controls. Customers, without prior permission or a license agreement, cannot see or change the software program’s basic source code.

Principles for the State’s Economic Stimulus

February 7, 2009 in Publications

The Governor and other policymakers are proposing a multi-pronged strategy of state-financed infrastructure and transportation projects, along with increased unemployment insurance payouts and housing assistance, in an effort to stimulate Washington’s economy.

An Economic Stimulus Package Must Focus on Long-Term Growth, Not Short Term Jobs

January 17, 2009 in Publications

As the United States struggles through a recession, political leaders are hoping a "stimulus package" will save us. There is nothing wrong with the government trying to stabilize or even energize the economy. It is the reason we craft fiscal and monetary polices. The problem with most stimulus packages is that they usually don't work.

Requiring Specific Legislative Authority for Agency Rule-Making Would Help Washington Businesses

January 7, 2009 in Publications

A proposal has been introduced in the legislature that would revise rule-making requirements to assure that the legislature can carefully review rules that impose significant burdens on Washington businesses before the rules take effect.

Business Rankings Once Again Declare "All is Well with Washington." Not so.

January 6, 2009 in Publications

Washington state is facing a projected $6 billion budget deficit, because the rise in state revenues is not keeping up with the legislature’s planned spending increases. The unemployment rate at the end of 2008 jumped to 7.1%, from 4.6% a year before. The U.S. economy is on shaky ground, and the state economy is also teetering.  

Why Government Spending Does Not Stimulate Growth

January 6, 2009 in Publications

In a throwback to the 1930s and 1970s, some lawmakers are betting that America’s economic ills can be cured by an extraordinary expansion of government. This tired approach has already failed repeatedly in the past year, in which Congress and the President:

Business & Occupation Tax Reform, Part IV

October 2, 2008 in Publications

In 2001, the state legislature created the Washington State Tax Structure Committee, also known as the Gates Commission, headed by William H. Gates, Sr. The mandate given to the Commission by the state legislature was to conduct “a systematic analysis of Washington’s existing tax structure and provide recommendations for alternatives to improve the tax system.”

Business & Occupation Tax Reform, Part III

October 2, 2008 in Publications

Taxes play an integral part in commerce—businesses and consumers take into account the cost of taxation along with the other costs of any business or commercial transaction when determining their action. But taxes, and the way they are collected, also play a huge role when business owners decide where and how to set up a business.