Our .09% rural sales tax credit extension bill, a major WSAC priority, has been on a roller coaster ride over the past few weeks. HB 1267 has passed out of the House unanimously, out of the Senate policy committee unanimously, and was heard in the Senate Committee on Ways and Means on the 21st. At that hearing, we had a good discussion with members of the committee as to concerns they have with the bill—more accurately, concerns they have with the whole program going back years, focused on the use of funds and reporting. We highlighted the work we’ve been doing with the state auditor to come up with consistent and clear reporting standards that make it easy for both local and state officials to track and report projects, and offered to amend the bill further to tighten reporting even more. The members seemed agreeable in the hearing, and we drafted and sent ideas for amendments, but we heard nothing back, and the bill seemed stalled (a bad sign this late in Session). Yesterday, however, we had a good exchange with a key Senator and think we have an agreed-upon amendment, so, as of publication, we are hopeful the bill is moving again and will be voted out next week. Stay tuned!
WSAC, Policy Consultant