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.

Publications

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.

Business & Occupation Tax Reform, Part II

August 2, 2008 in Publications

In order for a state to attract new businesses or encourage current businesses within the state to expand, lawmakers must offer a competitive tax system – one that incorporates many of the responsible principles such as transparency, simplicity, neutrality and more, as laid out in Part I of this series.

Washington's Business Climate Is All Over The Map

July 17, 2008 in Publications

Is Washington state truly friendly to businesses? It depends on whom you ask. Some reports say Washington has a favorable business climate, yet other measures show our state isn’t anywhere near the top end of business-friendly states. Which are correct? There is no definitive answer, but examining the criteria used by the different reports might shed some light on this controversial subject.

How Incentives to Cheat Undermine Cap‐and‐Trade

June 2, 2008 in Publications

Imagine buying a car only to find it was a lemon. You would probably go back to the seller in an effort to get your money back. Contract and consumer protection laws are set up to mediate this relationship between buyer and seller. In most cases the power of one balances the other creating fair transactions that are mutually beneficial.

Business & Occupation Tax Reform, Part I

June 2, 2008 in Publications

The Oxford American Dictionary defines “tax” as, “a sum of money to be paid by people or business firms to a government, to be used for public purposes.”

Today, taxes are used to pay for public goods such as schools, roads, airports, utilities, museums, social work, sports, and more.

Washington Policy Center Comments on WAC 296‐62‐095 – Heat‐related Illness Rule

April 1, 2008 in Publications

The heat‐related illness (HRI) administrative code (WAC 296‐62‐095) is a regulation that still has several holes in it and could cause confusion among small businesses and employers.

This Session, There’s a Little Something for Everyone

March 16, 2008 in Publications

Looking back can give one a sense of pessimism or optimism. On one hand you can observe failures; on the other hand you can see room for improvement and discern a productive plan for the future.