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Published on Friday, June 17, 2016

Update on local business tax and licensing simplification task force

The task force on local business tax and licensing simplification established by HB 2959 held its first meeting on Friday, May 27. At that meeting, task force members considered the current way cities issue business licenses and heard presentations about the state’s recently upgraded Business Licensing Service (BLS), and the city-developed portal, FileLocal.

Following these presentations, task force members discussed options for simplifying city business licensing. A range of ideas were initially offered, including:

  • Developing a robust information site of all city business license requirements.
  • Encouraging all cities with business licenses to join either BLS or FileLocal.
  • Requiring all cities with business licenses to join BLS.
  • Establishing another one-stop shop for licensing.

The task force did not make any decisions as to the merits of any of these ideas; however, members will be voting on whether to recommend one or more of these options to the Legislature. The task force will meet again at the end of June. At that meeting, they will conclude their discussion of business licensing and turn their attention to city B&O tax.

More information about the task force is available here, and we will continue to provide updates through this monthly Legislative Bulletin.

For those attending AWC Annual Conference in Everett, two sessions are planned that will provide an opportunity to learn more about two online options available to cities:

  • FileLocal: One stop local business licensing and tax filing
    Thursday, June 23, 10:45 – 11:45 am
  • A look inside the state’s new business licensing system
    Thursday, June 23, 2:45 – 3:45 pm

If you have questions about the task force or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact AWC’s Peter King or Serena Dolly.

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