Legislature passes Entenman bill to help communities with large warehousing and manufacturing centers

OLYMPIA – The Senate passed House Bill 1948 sponsored by Representative Debra Entenman (D-Kent) with a 42-7 vote today. This legislation creates a Warehousing and Manufacturing Job Centers Account to provide mitigation funds for communities who received substantial mitigation funds from the recently closed Streamlined Sales Tax Mitigation Account.

“Cities with large warehousing and manufacturing centers like Kent and Auburn help drive our state’s economy. Changes in tax structure have left these communities to foot the bill for services and road maintenance that benefits all of Washington,” said Rep. Entenman. “This bill ensures that these communities will have the revenue they need to keep our state’s economy moving.”

In 2007, Kent and Auburn lost sales tax revenue because of a change in tax structure by multiple states to simplify the collection of sales taxes from online purchases. To mitigate that lost revenue the Legislature created the Streamlined Sales Tax Account. These funds are vital for public safety, public works, and economic development.

The Legislature ended the Streamlined Sales Tax Account in 2017, speculating that changes resulting from the Marketplace Fairness Act would compensate for the lost revenue. Unfortunately, in cities with large warehousing and manufacturing centers, this was not the case. In 2018, the City of Kent still received over $4.5 million. This bill will allow the cities of Kent and Auburn to maintain their current budgets without tax increases.

This legislation now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature. The House adjourns on March 12.