Job creation legislation proposed by Hargrove

Washington has an unemployment rate stalled at 9.2 percent, with a “real” unemployment rate of around 18 percent if those who are under-employed or have given up looking for work are counted. Rep. Mark Hargrove, R-Covington, introduced House Bill 1672 to give employers more tax certainty and confidence to keep their doors open or expand their operations.

“Our state’s unemployment rate is holding steady at an unacceptably high level. We have to do something that sends a signal to employers that we understand higher payroll as well as other taxes and fees are hurting their ability to make decisions about the future of their businesses,” Hargrove said. “My bill is one small, but important step in the right direction.”

House Bill 1672 would double the Business and Occupation Tax (B&O) credit for small businesses. The B&O tax is a unique tax to Washington state.

“The state Business and Occupation Tax applies to gross earnings, so the government gets paid whether a small business makes a profit or takes a loss on a sale,” said Patrick Connor, Washington state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). “House Bill 1672 would provide welcome relief for small businesses still struggling in this difficult economy and give a break to entrepreneurs starting a new business. NFIB appreciates Representative Hargrove introducing the bill, and we hope it will encourage a broader debate about the burden this tax places on all businesses in our state.”

“It’s an extremely punitive tax because it hurts start-up businesses the most,” Hargrove explained. “My goal with this bill is to let our newly-opened and young companies know we are invested in their success. Ultimately, the success of private-sector businesses will help us dig out of the nearly $5 billion dollar deficit we are facing.”

Hargrove’s proposal has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee where it is awaiting a public hearing.


Washington State House Republican Communications