I recently attended a meeting of the Legislative Council on River Governance, an organization managed by the Council of State Governments. The Legislative Council on River Governance is a cooperative association of legislators from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington who meet to discuss common interests and challenges along the Columbia River basin.
The purpose of the Legislative Council on River Governance is to assert state legislative duty and authority over natural resources and river governance in the Columbia and Snake River Basins, and to unite the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington to develop a proactive agenda of legislative action and communications. Continue reading →
A new Washington state law modifying tax exemptions for data centers also benefits agricultural processors and craft distilleries. Senate Bill 6635 extends a sales and use tax exemption to eligible data centers that begin construction prior to July 1, 2016, and also extends until a business and occupation tax exemption crucial to commercial ag processors, including those that handle fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood.
The exemption offers producers a competitive advantage as processors are able to compete against other states that don’t have a business and occupation tax. The state’s food processing and manufacturing industry generated $17 billion in 2011 and created more than 18,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in wages and $1.5 billion in added value. Continue reading →