Lawmakers propose lowering B&O tax for some rural manufacturers

  • Fri Feb 1st, 2019 1:50pm
  • News

By Sean Harding

Washington Newspaper Publishers Association

A bipartisan bill introduced in the Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee would reduce the business and occupation tax for manufacturers and publishers of printed materials and periodicals, excluding newspapers. It also would extend the preferential B&O tax rate for timber and woods products.

The B&O tax is Washington state’s major business tax, according to committee documents. The tax is imposed against a company’s gross income and does not deduct the cost of doing business.

“As folks know … the drawbacks to expanding our rural economy is just access to capital and capital that will work,“ bill sponsor Rep. Mike Chapman (D-Port Angeles) said.

If passed, the general manufacturing, wholesale and retailing B&O rate for manufacturers, processors for hire and nonnewspaper printers would be reduced incrementally over the next 11 years, to ease the impact of lost revenue on the state.

The new reduced B&O tax rate for the targeted rural industries would be as low as 0.2904 percent and remain in effect until July 1, 2056,

“The benefit you’re providing here is not just financial, although that’s significant,” said Dave Gering on behalf of the Seattle Manufacturing Industrial Council. “You’re sending a signal that you care about them that you’re not afflicting them with one more regulation.”

The bill is scheduled to be heard in an executive session Wednesday, Feb. 6.