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BIAW Bulletin: March 22, 2021

March 22, 2021

Hey there, it’s time for another installment of the Hammer with Himebaugh, or what the powers that be insist is the BIAW Bulletin.

Last week, many of you met via video conference with legislators from your districts. We’ve heard positive feedback from those conversations so thank you for connecting construction to the capitol and speaking on the issues that impact the ability to build housing affordably.

Legislative cutoff

This week marks yet another legislative deadline – another policy committee cutoff – which means policy bills from the opposite chamber need to move out their policy committees by Friday. Thursday, March 25 marks one month before sine die – and remember sine die is Latin for “get the heck outta session and be done already.” And yes, I already have a vacation planned – I see you over there white sandy beach.

Budget talks 

But now we get into real budget talks.  House and Senate Republicans offered their ideal budgets a while ago and the majority has said, ‘thanks, but no thanks, we’re gonna do our thing.” The most recent state revenue forecast coupled with the latest federal stimulus shows buckets and buckets of revenue – which should mean no need to raise additional revenue through more taxes. But the significant – like BILLIONS of extra dollars (That was with a B – BILLIONS) – is still apparently not enough.

Urge legislators to vote NO on capital gains

The capital gains income tax is still under consideration – and, in its current form, confuses how real estate sales are handled. It ​will increase the burden to you all as you build your businesses and look to the future. Continue to tell your state representatives to vote no on SB 5096.

Increase building to increase tax revenue

The state could have even more revenue under the current tax system if they’d get out your way and let you build more. Residential construction is responsible for 5% of total state sales tax – if you had more access to land and an easier time getting building permits processed – if the process didn’t take an eternity to actually start building a home – think about the potential for state revenue!

The bottom line remains the same. The state has enough money within current revenue streams. Post-pandemic is not the time to increase the burden on hardworking Washington businesses.

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