April 16, 2019
Meeting was called to order by Carol Johnson at 7:31am. Jim McEntire led the flag salute.
Kaj moved to accept April 9 minutes, seconded by Dick P. Motion carried.
Jon F. moved to extend the meeting up to 15 minutes, second by Dick. Motion carried.
Program: Jim McEntire will go over bills that follow PABA’s purpose of business development and growth so that membership can vote on taking a position.
HB 2158 creates a funding source for workforce education with a 20-66% surcharge on service and other activities. It is in the House Finance Committee currently. Sam P. moved to oppose this bill, second by Ted S. Discussion followed: Jim said he will address each bill and draft a letter to be signed by Carol, who said that letter can be changed by members to send in on their own. The letter should be forwarded to all local chambers and the EDC. Motion passed.
E3SHB 1324 – Kaj moved to support this bill, second by Dick P. Motion passed.
1354 – raises the threshold for paying B&O tax. Marc said it may benefit big box stores and Kaj said it recognizes the volume discounts already offered. Rob O. moved to remain neutral because it seems we don’t know enough, second by Marc A. Motion passed.
HB 2156, SB 5961 & SB 5998 – Mike M. said this is not a reliable factor and makes REET more complex. Marc said it’s not a revenue generator and they are dropping the rate on the highest generator. Kaj’s concern is it will lead to a progressive income tax. Marc said it generally favors us and moved to support the bill, second by Kelly J. Carol called for the vote with 14 yes and 7 opposed. Mike M. said this is also WA Realtor’s position. Motion passed.
SB 5971 – Kaj moved to oppose this bill, second by Marc. Discussion: Kaj said we should generally oppose any tax for our rural area. Mike Chapman said carbon taxes hav been voted down twice and he would not vote for it. Motion passed.
E2SHB 1110 – is in the Senate Transportation Committee. Dick moved to oppose this bill, second by Kaj. Discussion questioning implementation and impacting rural areas. Ted S. said it would devastate the logging industry. Motion passed.
E3SHB 1257 – has unknown performance standards. Kaj moved to oppose this bill, second by Debby because it’s not clear. Motion passed.
E2SSB 5116 – Ted S. said using solar and wind are intermittent. The only reliable source is gas and store electricity. Kaj moved to oppose this bill because WA has the highest percentage of renewable energy now. Second by Rob O. Mike M suggested they add “if hydropower is included”. Motion passed.
SB5961 & HB2156 – Dick moved to oppose both bills, second by Marc A. Motion passed.
SB5996 – increases tax to put in to a dedicated firefighting fund. Jim M moves to oppose the bill, second by Ted. Discussion: we’re already behind in planned harvest, a timber fund exists, and revenue is there if we harvest. Kaj added that we are concerned, but there are more effective ways to reduce the risk. Mark L. said forest management is key. Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:50am.