Kilmer's B&O tax, Narrows bills move forward

State Rep. Derek Kilmer’s two small business bills have passed the House Economic Development, Agriculture and Trade Committee with bipartisan support. Next stop — the turbulent waters of the finance committees.

House Bill (HB) 1351 would provide a tax credit for small businesses for every new job create that pays a livable wage and provides health benefits.

HB-1442 would relieve the initial tax burden on small businesses, doubling the current exemption from B&O tax.

Kilmer (D – Gig Harbor) said he’s excited the bills passed with so much support but said he knows he may experience setbacks in getting fiscal approval because of Washington state’s $2.2 billion legislative shortfall.

“I would be someone who would argue that if we reduce the tax burden on small businesses, we’ll actually improve our fiscal situation,” Kilmer said. “If these bills move forward, the impact on the states’ revenue will likely be for the positive, not the negative.

“I often say that economic development solves a multitude of problems,” added Kilmer. “First, it puts people to work – empowering them to put food on their table, to care for their family, to have the pride of accomplishment. Second, as people get to work and as our economy improves, it improves our budget deficit.”

Kilmer reports good news on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge legislative front, as well.

“The two Narrows Bridge bills both passed out of the Transportation Committee,” Kilmer reported. “They’re moving forward in the process.”

HB 1864 would require that the Washington state residents participating in the toll-setting process be from the 26th District. According to Kilmer, the bill passed unanimously.

HB-1865 exempts Narrows Bridge construction from the required sales tax. The bill passed Saturday with 24-1 approval.

“I’m working hard on that bill,” Kilmer said. “It’s my top priority in terms of the bills I have out there.”

Kilmer reports that bypassing the sales tax will save taxpayers at least $45 million.

“What helps our cause on this one is it doesn’t affect this year’s budget,” Kilmer explained. “Obviously, it’s going to take a lot of work.”

Kilmer said the way the system is currently set up, taxpayers would be paying a toll to pay the project’s taxes.

“From a fairness perspective, that’s wrong,” Kilmer said.

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