The Point 09 logo.

Supporting SB 5899 and HB 2494 is an investment in healthy local economies across the state for a stronger future for Washington.

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A proven economic development funding strategy

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Transform local economies with local investment

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Washington's future depends on a strong economy across the whole state

Illustration of a coin dropping into a green piggy bank.

A proven economic development funding strategy

Rural counties in Washington have benefitted from up to a .09 percent ‘rebate’ of their own county’s state sales and use tax for over twenty years. This type of funding has helped to build critical infrastructure, attract new industry and diversify economies. It is time to expand and secure this strategy to support ALL of Washington’s rural and border communities and plan for future economies. Communities that have been left out of Puget Sound’s economic boom need reliable and sustainable funding to make smart investments in growing and sustaining their local economies.

Transform local economies with local investment

This legislation allows for the continuation and expansion of a critical economic development tool: the use of locally generated sales and use tax dollars for local economic development investments. This is a powerful tool for communities to invest in job growth for their residents and to support their existing businesses in efforts to expand. Because the state cannot provide comprehensive and sustained funding for economic development, this sales tax mechanism is critical to provide towns and cities in rural and border communities with the ability to invest in growing jobs for their residents. An investment in local economic development is an investment in the people and families of Washington state and provides a return on investment to the state.

An illustration of two hands shaking each other.
An illustration of two hands shaking each other.

Transform local economies with local investment

This legislation allows for the continuation and expansion of a critical economic development tool: the use of locally generated sales and use tax dollars for local economic development investments. This is a powerful tool for communities to invest in job growth for their residents and to support their existing businesses in efforts to expand. Because the state cannot provide comprehensive and sustained funding for economic development, this sales tax mechanism is critical to provide towns and cities in rural and border communities with the ability to invest in growing jobs for their residents. An investment in local economic development is an investment in the people and families of Washington state and provides a return on investment to the state.

An illustration of a blue telescope looking up.

Washington’s future depends on a strong economy across the whole state

While growth and prosperity are occurring in parts of Washington, many counties lag behind. A sustainable and reliable funding mechanism for rural and border counties is critical to creating and retaining jobs in communities from Bellingham to Richland and from Vancouver to Colville, and to helping Washington stand out as it competes against neighboring states for businesses. Local investment in economic development benefits ALL of Washington, ensuring healthy communities, jobs for residents in all corners of the state and a growing tax base. Healthy local economies in rural and border counties are key to ensuring Washington’s diverse cities and towns will thrive today and tomorrow.

Why Point 09?

The economic engine of the Puget Sound region does not extend to all counties in our state. This .09 funding continues to lift rural counties as well as addresses the unique challenges facing border counties.

Who benefits from Point 09?

39

total counties in Washington

34

counties will benefit from this funding

32

counties currently designated as “rural”

15

border counties, 13 of which are currently designated as “rural”

2

counties currently designated as “rural” that will no longer meet those standards, but will retain the benefit as border counties

[
Current beneficiary as “rural” county
[
Border counties not also designated as “rural”
Illustration of Washington showing all of the counties colored coded to categories fitting into point 09.
[
Will not qualify for benefit
[
Current beneficiary as “rural” county, but will no longer be “rural” at expiration
Illustration of Washington showing all of the counties colored coded to categories fitting into point 09.

Challenges facing Washington border counties

IDAHO

lower minimum wage

no B&O tax

lower property tax

lower fuel prices

fewer employee mandates

oregon

no sales tax

tiered minimum wage

lower fuel prices

Proven Economic Development Funding Strategy

Green shape outlining Whatcom county Washington.

Port of Bellingham – All American Marine Facility

In 2016, the existing .09 percent funding model enabled Whatcom County to break ground on a $10 million project to build a new manufacturing facility for boat builder All American Marine on Bellingham’s Central Waterfront. This resulted in job creation and an increase in revenue for the county, adding to the 2,600 jobs, $122 million in direct income and more than $18 million in taxes this industry has generated in Whatcom County.

“The fact that we had the ability to use existing economic development dollars to help build a new, state-of-the-art boat manufacturing facility was critical to the sustainability of our local economy. Not only did this new facility prevent a key corporation from leaving Washington State, but it also helped establish Whatcom County as a marine trades cluster with widespread benefits to the regional supply chain, innovation and higher-than-average wages.”

Mike Hogan, Public Affairs Administrator for the Port of Bellingham

Green shape outlining Whatcom county Washington.

Port of Walla Walla – Dodd Road Industrial Park

Over the last several years, the Port of Walla Walla has spent approximately $800,000 in local point 09 economic development sales and use tax funds to leverage additional public funds to construct public infrastructure improvements at its Dodd Road Industrial Park to recruit and retain businesses. The funding helped to secure investment from businesses including Northwest Wine Services, Union Pacific Railroad and Railex, resulting in approximately 275 direct and approximately 455 indirect jobs created.

“Those public infrastructure improvements provided the catalyst in securing jobs and private capital investment for Walla Walla County, moreover southeastern Washington, in excess of $46 million.”

Sam Grant Herriot, Communications and Marketing Specialist at the Port of Walla Walla

Green shape outlining Whatcom county Washington.

Port of Pasco – ARM Aerial Research Facility (Batelle) Hangar

Construction is nearly complete on a new hangar at the Tri-Cities Airport for the ARM Aerial Facility, managed by Battelle Memorial Institute. When Battelle added new mobile laboratory platforms – both piloted planes and unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV), the hangar they had been using at the airport for decades became untenable. Battelle began a national search for a facility that would work. Instead of losing a valued organization and employer that pays well above the county average, the Port of Pasco requested and was granted financial support from Franklin County’s point 09 funding to build a new, suitable hangar. The Port of Pasco owns the facility and will lease it to Battelle, retaining both jobs and the significant capital investment.

“The space, which includes hangar and office/lab space, was made possible thanks to $350,000 in point 09 economic development funding, This is a strategic investment that will establish the Tri-Cities Airport as a hub for this kind of development and set the community up for future prosperity.”

Gary Ballew, Director of Economic Development and Marketing for the Port of Pasco

Background & History

The rural distressed county tax credit program statute (RCW 82.14.370, Sales and use tax for public facilities in rural counties) was established in 1997 to provide rural counties with a local option tax to be used to promote the creation, attraction, expansion and retention of businesses and provide for family wage jobs. The program in place today was established in statute in 1998 — the rural distressed county tax credit program provided for .04 percent of the sales and use tax in the originating county to be ‘rebated’ back to the county to use for economic development purposes.

The statute was amended in 1999 to raise the rate to .08 percent and again in 2007 to allow counties to levy .09 percent. Depending upon when a county imposed the tax, counties expire from the program in 2032 or 2033, with some of the early-adopter counties expiring out as early as 2026. The entire program under current law expires in 2034.

Thank You to Our Endorsers

Adams county development council logo.
Adams county development council logo.
San Juan county Economic Development Council logo.
Snohomish county Economic Alliance logo.
Economic Development Council for Island County logo.
Port of Walla Walla logo.
The logo for Greater Spokane Inc.
Economic development alliance of Skagit county logo.
Tri-City Development Council Logo.
Grant county Economic Development Council logo.
Choose Whatcom logo.
Tri county Economic Development District logo.
Economic development of Clark county logo.
Logo for economic development board in Tacoma Pierce County.
Clallam economic development corporation logo.
SE Washington Economic Development Association logo.
Port of Bellingham Economic Development logo.
Seattle metropolitan chamber of commerce logo.
EDC Thurston county logo.
EDC Thurston county logo.
EDC Thurston county logo.
Spokane County logo.
City of Pasco logo.
Central Washington University logo.
Washington State Association of Counties.
Yakima County Development Association Logo.
University District logo.
Center Fuse Ellensburg Business Development logo.

Take action! Support Point 09 expansion and alignment with a letter to your legislators.

Washington Economic Development Association Logo.

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