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GSI and GSVC Convene Business Leaders to Meet with Washington Tax Structure Work Group

SPOKANE- A group of business leaders initially called together in response to the COVID pandemic has continued to meet on other topics of importance to the community. On October 13th, that group met with the Tax Structure Work Group to hear about proposals currently being considered by the group, ask questions, and provide feedback.

The Tax Structure Work Group, which was formed in 2017 by the legislature to assess an overhaul of Washington State taxation, presented four scenarios aimed at shifting (rather than increasing or decreasing) how the state government brings in revenue. A bi-partisan group of legislators as well as representatives from the Department of Revenue, the Office of the Governor, and local governments held public meetings to put together the proposals. The group is currently conducting outreach to groups across the state in the form of outreach meetings and townhalls.

The Tax Townhall for the “East” region, which includes Spokane, was held in September and included public input and background information on different types of taxes as well as an overview of the work being done by the work group. During the outreach meeting with GSI, the work group presented the four proposals currently being considered as a starting point for the group:

  1. Changing the property tax limit factor to exempt a certain value from taxation.
  2. Decreasing property taxes and instituting a wealth tax.
  3. Replacing the Business and Occupation Tax with a Value Added Tax and an Employer Compensation Tax.
  4. Ending the B&O tax, reducing the Sales Tax and Property Taxes, and instituting a Personal Income Tax and a Corporate Income Tax.

The Work Group continues to call for public and business input on how taxes are collected in Washington and our state tax structure deeply affects communities like ours which boarder other states.  If you’d like to provide input, you can complete their survey and call or email Jake Mayson, Director of Public Policy at GSI: jmayson@greaterspokane.org (509) 123-3625

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