Advocacy: State Budge Compromise Released

Advocacy Update regarding the State Budget
via Stan Bowman, AIA|WA Executive Director:
First, the compromise does NOT include an extension of the temporary 20% B&O tax surcharge that was enacted in 2010. That temporary tax hike will expire on July 1. The tax’s expiration is a welcome relief to architecture firms, large and small, still struggling to come out of the current recession.

Second, the AIA|WA was successful in stopping several policy measures that would have permanently redirected capital projects money to the operating budget. To be sure, the final budget still includes transfers from the Public Works Assistance Account and the model toxics accounts. But, these transfers affect only the upcoming biennium and provide hope the monies can be restored once the state budget recovers more fully.

The budget also does NOT transfer money out of key architecture programs such as school construction and public housing.

Next, we stopped further erosion of the state’s borrowing capacity for capital project investments.

The capital budget has not yet been released. But, there is an increase of between 11 and 16 million dollars for capital debt service in the upcoming biennium. Thus, we can assume that the capital budget will be fully utilized.

Overall, the AIA did very well in the final budget. We prevented extension of higher taxes and have blunted the effect of proposed fund transfers.

You can get more details at: http://leap.leg.wa.gov/leap/budget/detail/2013/ho1315p.asp.

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