How Facebook Plans to Become One of the Most Powerful Tools in Politics

Already a focal point of political activity (of varying quality), the site has shifted its toolset to let campaigns target extremely specific audiences with very specific messages, for prices somewhat north of zero dollars. The end goal for Facebook seems clear: Replace, as much as possible, expensive, blanketed television advertising with much more immediate, much more specific ads appearing in users’ feeds — and then cash a whole lot of checks.



Inslee Promotes Electric Cars to Tackle Pollution

Gov. Jay Inslee wants to extend a sales tax break for electric vehicles and explore giving them access to car pool lanes. If the break is extended, it would mean a nearly $13 million hit in tax revenues in fiscal year 2016, and $17 million in 2017, according to most recent estimates by the Department of Revenue.

Cap and Trade to Reduce Carbon Emissions in Washington Is So 1990s

The key distinction when considering a cap and trade system for Washington State is that Washington doesn’t get its energy from coal fired power plants. Thus Washington doesn’t have the low-hanging fruit that cap and trade has been exploiting in Europe and the Northeastern states.

Worker Comp Rates To Go Up .8% in ’15, Smaller Than Originally Predicted

After years of roller-coaster hikes and dips in worker compensation rates, the Department of Labor & Industries announced Tuesday that the statewide average rates for next year will increase a modest .8 percent — smaller than the 1.8 percent hike proposed in September.

About That Audit: Business, Tax Collectors Talk Ideas For Resolving Appeals Issues

The Association of Washington Business (AWB) has had concerns about the Department of Revenue’s (DOR’s) internal appeal system for years, including basic questions of transparency, said Amber Carter, director of governmental affairs for tax and fiscal policy at the AWB.

Q&A With Gil Brewer, Senior Director of Tax Policy For DOR

Gil Brewer is senior director of tax policy at the Department of Revenue (DOR). He provided an interview to the Washington State Wire for a story about criticisms that the agency’s appeals division was “rubber stamping” decisions against the taxpayer. Brewer explains that the internal – and low-cost – appeals process is not designed to […]

Q&A With David Dressel, Former DOR Administrative Law Judge

Dave Dressel worked as an administrative law judge at the Department of Revenue (DOR) for 27 years before retiring in 2012. On his last day he sent an email criticizing the agency for stacking the odds against the taxpayer and calling the system an “affront to due process.” The Washington State Wire had an opportunity […]

Taxpayer’s Nightmare: The Fight That Few Win

After nearly 100 years manufacturing signs, Greg Stuart was shocked to learn that his company, Vancouver Sign Group, was not legally a manufacturer – At least as far as the Washington State Department of Revenue was concerned.

Senate Republicans Sound Off On Potential Climate Policies

A hearing Thursday before the Senate Transportation Committee offered Republicans a chance to sound off on Gov. Jay Inslee’s potential carbon policy proposals, and Chairman Curtis King of Yakima didn’t leave the opportunity to waste. King criticized a report earlier this week from an Inslee-appointed task force that examined a cap-and-trade or a carbon tax […]

Washington’s Unemployment Rate Ticks Up to 6% in October

Washington state’s unemployment rate ticked up again to 6 percent, according to the monthly jobs report issued by the Employment Security Department Wednesday. The state added 6,200 nonfarm jobs in the private sector, according to preliminary figures, but lost 600 government jobs. But the report says the number of unemployed people rose by 10,700 from […]