By Don C. Brunell/Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at theBrunells@msn.com.
A major hurdle for lawmakers in Olympia working to finish the next two-year state budget and adjourn is the so-called “carbon tax.”
However, Gov. Jay Inslee wants a first-ever levy on CO2 emissions. While it targets coal and natural gas power plants and manufacturing facilities, everyone will pay more.
His proposal is part of a grand plan to raise $5.5 billion in higher taxes. That scheme also includes imposing a new tax on investor’s income and increases existing business and occupation (B&O) tax rates on services.
Higher taxes are troublesome for Washington businesses which already pay 58 percent of state and local taxes. According to the Council on State Taxation (COST), business owners paid $7,600 per employee in state and local taxes in 2015 — the sixth highest per employee tax burden in the country. The national average is $5,800. More