Senate Bill 6626 would let the former Frank Russell Company defer sales tax on construction of a new headquarters building in a “community empowerment zone” as long as the building costs at least $30 million and employs at least 300 people who earn the average annual wage in Washington.
That sales tax eventually could be forgiven. Downtown Tacoma is, in fact, an empowerment zone, mostly because it combines the Hilltop neighborhood.
Apparently, Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, is going to get credit for it. The House had a bill sponsored by Rep. Troy Kelley, D-Tacoma (or University Place), but that one hasn’t quite made it out of the House yet.
The Senate vote was 48-0. The bill now goes to the House.
Just a thought, here. Bremerton also is an empowerment zone and Bremerton (part of it, anyway) lies in the 26th Legislative District. That’s Kilmer’s district. What if Russell moved its headquarters to Bremerton? I mean, the company could still get the tax break and Kilmer could still be the hero for keeping the company in Washington state. Right?
Incidentally, the state Senate today is passing all the miscellaneous tax cut, tax increase or any kind of tax break bill that has some bearing on how much money it taken out of or put into the state treasury. Those are called “bills necessary to implement the budget.”