Tag Archives: honey bees

Honeyford bill would spare honeybee industry from sting of B&O tax

honeybee-honeycomb-macro_26201_990x742The Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development Committee today considered a bill aimed at putting more buzz into the state’s honeybee industry. Senate Bill 6402, sponsored by Sunnyside Sen. Jim Honeyford, would exempt honeybee products and services from the state’s onerous business and occupation tax by defining them as agricultural products.

“Washington has many crops that depend upon bees for pollination to produce profitable crops,” said Honeyford, who serves as ranking Republican on the committee. “All kinds of products come from bees, including honey, pollen, beeswax, propolis, and many others. Just as the state considers milk that comes from cows to be an agricultural product, so should it consider products derived from honeybees.”

Washington is the only state to impose a business and occupations tax, which is levied on the gross receipts of all business activities. Unlike a corporate net income tax, there are no deductions for the costs of doing business. Small businesses often struggle in their first several years just to make a profit; many in Washington fail as a result of hitting the low B&O threshold but ending up in the red and losing money. Continue reading

A bill for the bee industry

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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.