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  • Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136

Gregoire to push for business tax simplification

For Immediate Release: July 25, 2011

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire announced today that she would develop a proposal to simplify state and local business tax administration, registration and licensing. She expects to unveil the proposal later this year.

“Small businesses create two out of every three jobs,” Gregoire said. “The current tax system requires small businesses to file tax returns with both cities and the state, often with different classifications, definitions and deductions. This is confusing and takes time away from small business owners’ top priority, running their businesses. Simplifying tax collection and licensing will ease a regulatory hurdle and help companies in this tough economy.”

In a recent report to the governor, DOR’s director, Suzan DelBene, recommended the state centralize all business tax administration, registration and licensing, based on extensive input from business owners, tax professionals, cities and other stakeholders. Tax centralization was the top request of small businesses.

Currently, about 200 cities have registration and licensing requirements that generate revenues, and 39 cities administer their own local business and occupation taxes. DOR administers the state B&O tax and all state and local sales taxes.

Gregoire also directed DOR to evaluate ways to reduce the number of state B&O tax classifications to further reduce the complexity of the tax structure, while keeping in mind the goal of revenue neutrality.

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