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Gov. Inslee was right to veto ‘irresponsible’ business tax cut

(July 10, 2017) — Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, released the following statement Friday afternoon in response to Governor Jay Inslee’s veto of the section of SB 5977 that would have granted all manufacturing companies in the state a 40 percent Business & Occupation tax cut:

On behalf of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, representing more than 600 union locals with approximately 450,000 rank-and-file members in this state, I want to thank Governor Inslee for vetoing this tax cut for manufacturers.

Our state is long past the time where we should be handing out tax incentives that fail to hold recipients accountable for creating or maintaining good jobs. We have been burnt by Boeing, which has cut 13,000 jobs in this state since 2013, the year we gave it a multi-billion dollar tax incentive extension that lacked accountability. Models of good tax incentives can be found elsewhere in SB 5977, like the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program to encourage filmmaking in our state. No one gets that tax incentive until after the jobs are created.

At a time when our state is struggling to fund schools and other priorities, the manufacturers tax cut rammed through in the middle of the night with no public scrutiny was an irresponsible, unaccountable giveaway. Governor Inslee was absolutely right to veto it.

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