Major economic development, trade, and innovation issues for 2011 include:
Washington State is currently home to over 600 aerospace companies and this number remains poised to continue to grow. But while market demand has expanded over the years, the number of skilled workers able to meet this need has remained lackluster.
Legislation has already been proposed on how best to improve the quality and number of skilled workers in this expanding field of mechanical and technical expertise.
State Export Initiative
In June the Governor announced a new state export initiative designed to open additional export opportunities for Washington businesses. Over the next five years, the state export initiative is expected to increase the number of Washington state companies exporting by 30 percent and help 5,000 Washington businesses achieve $600 million in new export sales. The committee will be considering legislation to help bolster the state export initiative and Washington businesses.
Economic Development Commission
The Washington Economic Development Commission is an independent, non-partisan commission charged by the legislature with the mission of creating a comprehensive statewide strategy to guide investments in economic development, infrastructure, workforce training, small business assistance, technology transfer and export assistance. This January the Economic Development Commission will be releasing a statewide economic development strategy. The committee will use the strategy as a way to build its economic plan.
Tax Increment Financing
Traditional tax increment financing is a method of allocating a portion of property taxes to finance economic development in urban areas. Under tax increment financing, a local government issues bonds to finance public improvements and the local governments are permitted to draw upon regular property tax revenue inside the special district to repay bondholders. Currently, Washington State does not have traditional tax increment financing but the Legislature has authorized four types of tax increment financing. This session, the committee will be considering the traditional tax increment financing model.
How does Washington’s business climate fare in national rankings of the states?
Recently, Washington was named the fifth best state in the nation for small business by the online publication The Street
For the fourth year in a row, Washington is in the top five of Forbes’ Magazine’s annual Best States to Do Business rankings
Washington tops the list of U.S. News & World Report’s Seven Best States to Start a Business
Washington ranks second best on the Kauffman Foundation's 2010 State New Economy Index
Washington ranks fifth on the Small Business and Entrepenuership Council's Business Tax Index 2010
Washington received an ‘A’ on the Corporation for Enterprise Development’s 2009-2010 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard
Washington has the eleventh best business tax climate according to the Tax Foundation’s 2011 State Business Tax Climate Index