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Published on Friday, February 8, 2013

Legislative committees to hear AWC’s priority liquor revenue and lodging tax bills

As the fourth week of session comes to a close, two of our priority city finance bills are being considered.

Today the House Local Government Committee considered one of AWC’s top priorities, HB 1368, which restores local liquor revenue. City officials and police and fire representatives testified in favor of this bill, citing the challenges of balancing local budgets and the impacts of liquor privatization on public safety. Thank you to the following city officials who took the time to come to Olympia to testify or sign in favor: Mayor Stephen Buxbaum from Olympia, City Administrator Jay Covington from Renton, Police Chief Jeff Myers from Hoquiam, Assistant Fire Chief Bill Flora from Renton, Finance Director Rob Hendrickson from Covington, and many local government organizations.

The Senate Trade & Economic Development Committee will hear another one of our priorities on February 14. This bill, SB 5262, allows cities to continue using lodging tax revenue to fund festivals, special events, and non-profit facilities. The House version, HB 1253, was heard in committee in late January. Unless the Legislature passes one of these bills, cities will no longer be able to use lodging taxes for these uses after June 30, 2013.

If you have not already done so, please contact your legislators and let them know how important these bills are to your city.

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