Agriculture is a $49 billion component of the economy of Washington state. In recent years, more and more environmental overstepping has inhibited the ability of agriculture to grow as an industry. There is now a concern that the state’s non-point water quality regulations can impair the agricultural sector’s economic viability by leading to the conversion of agricultural land to other uses.
That’s why I’ve proposed Senate Bill 6087, which was approved by the bipartisan Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development. SB 6087 declares that the protection of normal and customary agricultural practices upon agricultural land is essential to maintain the public welfare, support farm and ranch capacity to produce and preserve open spaces. It also stipulates that state and federal agencies must also take precautions to protect the economic viability of agricultural operations and minimize the conversion of agricultural land to other uses. Continue reading →
This week I introduced a new bill aimed at helping our state’s bee industry, which has been growing thanks to certain tax preferences that are now set to expire. Senate Bill 6402, would revise the definition of “agricultural product,” for the purposes of extending the state’s business and occupation tax credit to include honey bee products and bee pollination services. As with any business, the B&O tax can be a crippling obstacle to overcome and easing that burden will allow the industry to expand, grow and create more jobs.
After approving two tax-preference bills designed to bolster the state’s aerospace industry, longtime state Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Yakima, said he’s looking forward to continuing the trend of growing the state’s business community by offering tax incentives.
“The governor called us into a special session in order to pass two bills to keep Boeing in Washington, in exchange for retaining up to 56,000 jobs and creating tens of thousands of new jobs across the state,” said Honeyford, who represents the state’s 15th Legislative District. “That’s not an opportunity that we can just sit on, but I’m concerned about the appearance of the state playing favorites. Now that it’s been widely accepted that certain tax incentives can grow businesses in Washington and in turn provide jobs, I’m going to pursue expanding that policy to other areas beyond aerospace, such as agriculture and small businesses, and I already have a commitment from Boeing that it will help us work to expand these policies.” Continue reading →