Supporters of tax reduction for boat manufacturers make the case for expanding it to all

The Senate Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing this afternoon on legislation reducing the state business and occupation tax for manufacturers of marine vessels and related parts. Sen. John Braun supports this bill, but continued calls for expanding it to all manufacturers, a policy that passed the Legislature in 2017 before being vetoed by Gov. Jay Inslee.

“In advocating tax reduction for maritime manufacturers, supporters of this bill effectively make a the case for following through on our bipartisan agreement to invest in our entire manufacturing sector,” said Braun, R-Centralia, who sponsored last year’s budget. “Public testimony in the House focused on the importance of keeping companies profitable and sustainable, which would protect family-wage jobs. Those same issues face Washington’s manufacturing employers in all parts of our state and were what we sought to address last year.”

Braun has called on the Legislature to re-institute a 40 percent reduction in the tax rate for manufacturers. The legislation phased in a reduction from a tax rate of 0.4840% down to 0.2904% by lowering it 10% annually over four years. That would bring all manufacturing businesses down to the same rate paid by Boeing and other aerospace businesses.

Manufacturing employment is the only sector in Washington to see job losses in the 21st century.  Of the more than 50,000 jobs lost, 47,200 have been outside the aerospace sector.

Today’s 2:30 p.m. Senate Ways and Means Committee hearing includes this bill along with five other tax preferences and exemptions. Braun said the timing of this public hearing indicates the tax policy measures will be part of legislative Democrats supplemental operating budget.