The Association of Washington Business, Washington state’s largest business association representing small, medium and large employers, issued the following statement from AWB President Kris Johnson regarding Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed 2016 supplemental budget:
“We agree with the governor that the two-year budget he signed into law six months ago is a good one, so we’re disappointed he felt the need to go back into it at this point and propose tax increases that have been previously considered and rejected.
“Although the governor characterizes them as ‘modest’ tax increases, the reality is they will cause significant harm to those who are directly targeted. That includes both employers and — particularly in the case of the bottled water tax exemption — consumers and families. In addition, small business owners in border communities will be harmed by the repeal of the nonresident sales tax exemption.
“It’s true that lawmakers have more work to do to address education funding, but the last three legislative sessions have shown us that it’s possible to increase K-12 education spending and even reduce the cost of public college tuition without resorting to tax increases.
“Finally, we share the governor’s concern about the slow growth of the economy and the possibility of another recession ahead. That’s why we believe the better approach is to look for ways to help employers, particularly small businesses, rather than subject them to higher taxes.
“We recognize this supplemental budget proposal is the start of a conversation and we look forward to working with the governor and legislators in the upcoming legislative session.”
About the Association of Washington Business
Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 7,900 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10.