All businesses in Washington state should be taxed
The Governor has called a special session of the state legislature right after Thanksgiving to bridge a $2 billion gap in the projected budget.
Already many are wanting to use this opportunity to institute a state income tax and eliminate many of the business tax exemptions to generate revenue.
We need to realize that the recent national economic recession will end, they always do and we need to resist ideas that may add some revenue but will be with us forever.
Nine states have instituted a state income tax since 1967 which has led to a 41.8 percent increase in government spending and a 64.2 percent decrease in personal growth.
A revenue idea that would really benefit all is eliminating many of the tax exemptions for tribal businesses, to include casinos. Currently there are twenty-nine federally recognized tribes in Washington state and they operate twenty-eight casinos with revenues of around $1.33 billion and they do not have to share one dime of that revenue with the state.
In contrast, all non-tribal casinos must pay all relevant business taxes and special revenue taxes also. Local governments can impose up to a twenty percent tax on gross receipts on these non-tribal casinos.
If the state were to agree with the tribes to a revenue sharing at a level of 10 percent, the state could earn as much as $150 million per year and probably more.
In addition to the casinos, the tribes have liquor, smoke and gas stations operating on their properties. They do not have to pay the state sales tax, business and occupancy (B&O) tax, tobacco tax, worker’s compensation tax, and unemployment taxes just to name a few.
I don’t want to create a us versus them mentality, but rather that all citizens of the state contribute to the funding of the core functions of state and local governments.
Small businesses can help veterans by hiring them
This is for Washington state business owners and employers:
What is the one thing that makes your business the best?
I’m guessing it’s your employees.
How would you describe a great employee?
Motivated, dedicated, high integrity, solution finder, team player.
What if I told you that I can find you employees with those traits, and they can make your business even better?
They are our recently separated military personnel and our National Guard and Reservists and they want to put the skills they learned in the military to work for you!
Sure, their resumes may look a little different than someone who went straight from high school to work or college, but take an extra minute or two to think about how their skill set may bring a different perspective and better balance to your workplace.
Think about the training they received in the military: navigating sophisticated computer systems, interpreting technical data and focusing on important deadlines. Imagine the dedication and commitment it takes to put your country above yourself. That sense of purpose and duty is an asset to any business.
These men and women raised their hand to defend our nation. As business owners and employers, now it’s our turn to look out for them.
Make a commitment to reach out to veterans when you have openings.
The easiest way to do that is to contact the Employment Security Department’s Veteran Service Program and WorkSource.
These employment experts can help you connect with a veteran who will make your business better. They can be reached at 1-877-453-5906 or HireaVet@esd.wa.gov .
John E. Lee, Director
Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, Olympia
Viking coaches and teammates an inspiration
I would like to say a big “Thank You” to Coach Tri and his amazing staff of coaches at Lake Stevens. My son has been on the varsity football team for three years.
Being born with hearing loss has been challenging at times, but Ryan has persevered through hard work and the dedication of everyone associated with LSHS.
As a child, we were told all the things that Ryan wouldn’t be able to do in life. Happily, he has proved the critics wrong.
He has been able to realize his dream of playing high school football. The coaches and players have all worked to make this a reality for Ryan. On Saturday Nov. 5, Ryan played in a varsity football playoff game, and his proud mom heard his name on the loudspeaker when he made a tackle.
The captains on this team have been great role models for all the young men in our community. I know that the future holds many great things for Cody Tupen, Korey Young, Christian Gasca, Brady Pahukoa and Jake Nelson.
While Ryan will soon be playing his last organized football game, you boys have many more opportunities ahead of you. Cherish every game, every throw, every tackle and carry that Viking pride with you wherever you go.
I love Lake Stevens! I am crazy about football! I am so thankful for our coaches and this awesome group of young men.
Go Vikings! Thanks for allowing us the privilege to go along for the ride.