State and local taxes and spending significantly impact Washington's business climate and the public interest. The state's financial future requires a thorough review and analysis of state and local taxes and spending. To evaluate the present system and proposed alternatives, a committee is needed to identify and develop basic principles, values and long-range financial goals for our state. The committee will encourage public awareness and participation in the development of those principles, values and goals and in the evaluation of a variety of alternatives. Committee members will use a process which leads to reform that is in the best interest of Washington citizens. The committee will submit reports and findings to the Governor and Legislature for consideration. The purpose of the process utilized by the Committee is to set the foundation on which legislative consideration of complex tax and spending issues can successfully reach a conclusion within the limitations of the 1989 regular session.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Booth Gardner, Governor of the State of Washington, do hereby establish the Governor's Committee on Washington's Financial Future, as follows:
A. The Committee shall be composed of not more than 19 members appointed by the Governor. The director of the Department of Revenue and the director of the Office of Financial Management will serve as co-chairs. A majority of the Committee shall constitute a quorum and a majority of members present can approve Committee action. The co-chairs; shall appoint an executive director from the staff of the Department of Revenue to attend all Committee meetings and perform such duties as the Committee shall direct.
B. The Committee shall be non-partisan with members representing large and small businesses, local government, agriculture, labor, and private citizens. Expenses for members may be reimbursed pursuant to state law.
C. The Committee may establish advisory, technical and work groups as necessary to carry out the work of this Order.
D. The Committee's responsibility will be to:
1. Review Washington's current state and local financial structure, including the tax system, expenditure controls and tax rates, and review previous proposals, including findings of the state Tax Advisory Council.
2. Identify and develop basic principles, values and long-range financial goals to help evaluate the present system and consider alternatives proposed to the Committee.
3. Ensure public awareness and participation in developing principles, values and goals, and in considering alternatives developed by and/or presented to the Committee.
4. Regularly report findings, data and information to the Governor and the Legislature and make its reports public.
5. Select a variety of potential tax and spending control measures to be considered by the Governor and the Legislature in late 1988 and 1989.
E. The Committee will be administered through the Department of Revenue with staff support from the Department of Revenue and the Office of Financial Management. The Committee shall have the authority to accept support and assistance, or receive gifts, grants, endowments or bequests as may be made to or provided from state agencies or other public/private sources for the use and benefit of the purposes of the Committee and to expend the same, or any income therefrom, according to any conditional terms.
F. The Governor's Committee on Washington's Financial Future created by t his Executive Order shall complete its responsibilities by November 30, 1988, and will automatically cease functioning and be disbanded on December 1, 1988.
G. This Executive Order is effective immediately.