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Published on Friday, July 22, 2016

Task force continues to discuss local business licensing and taxes

Representatives for cities, business, and the Department of Revenue continue to meet and discuss local business tax and licensing simplification. Task force meetings have increased to two per month and so far, have largely centered on local business licensing.

Much of the discussion has involved the capability of online solutions to make it easier for businesses to understand and comply with local requirements. Task force members have spent a considerable amount of time discussing three existing systems.

  • Washington BusinessHub: Biz Hub was developed by the state as a “one stop resource for starting and operating a business in Washington State.” The site is designed to walk through the process of starting and licensing a new business. The task force is considering whether this site could do more to promote local requirements and/or serve as a central place to access city business license requirements and applications.
  • FileLocal: FileLocal is a city-created online portal where businesses can get city business licenses and pay local B&O taxes in one place. The portal is now live for four of the state’s largest cities and is expected to be available to additional cities next year.
  • Washington State Business Licensing Service: BLS is a Department of Revenue operated system for state and city business licenses. BLS was substantially upgraded in June 2016 and is now capable of handling a wide variety of city business licenses, including those based on the number of employees. AWC and DOR are partnering to offer a webinar on the new system. Learn more and register here.

The task force is beginning to discuss city B&O tax and has already received presentations on nexus and apportionment. Those conversations will continue at the next meeting in early August.

More information about the task force and the legislation that initiated it is available here. If you have any questions about the discussions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to contact AWC’s Peter King or Serena Dolly.

Categories: Budget & finance
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