Emergency Medical Services Levy is on the November ballot – what will it cost?

In November, Whatcom County voters will decide if property taxes in the county should be increased to renew (and increase) the County’s Emergency Medical Services Levy.  At first glance, this might look like an easy decision as citizens need EMS services and these types of ballot measures usually pass without much opposition as the first…

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UPDATE: State’s heat exposure rules

You will recall that we alerted Whatcom Business Alliance members earlier this summer to the state’s new, temporary heat rules that some Whatcom County businesses have been required to have in place over the summer. We now want to share what the WA State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is proposing as year-round rules for employees that…

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Climate Action Fund update

Hopefully you saw the good news in our last Action Alert email that Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood listened to your concerns as business owners and employees and has canceled plans to put a property tax increase proposal before voters this fall. Thank you for contacting his office, as well as members of the city council,…

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ACTION ALERT: Single-use plastics ban needs to align with state regulations

On July 31, City of Bellingham Ordinance 2021-05-023 will go into effect that will ban the use of some single-use plastics by retail establishments in Bellingham with the goal of “encouraging compostable or reusable alternatives.” This new regulation will impact restaurants (no matter their size), coffee shops, hotels, etc. in Bellingham. The ordinance was passed…

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Survey shows inflation tops a long list of employer challenges in 2022

Kris Johnson The soaring inflation rate has turned trips to the gas station, grocery store, shopping mall and restaurants into nerve-wracking experiences. Not to mention buying a used car or a sheet of plywood. But it isn’t just wreaking havoc on family budgets — inflation is setting off alarm bells for businesses, too. In a recent survey, inflation emerged as the No. 1 challenge facing Washington employers right now, edging out a long list of other concerns like finding enough workers,…

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State lawmakers hit the gas on multi-year spending spree

By Kris Johnson Looking back at the 2022 state legislative session, it’s hard not to be disappointed at the missed opportunities. Yes, lawmakers accomplished some things that are good for the economy, like shoring up the unemployment insurance trust fund, lowering the B&O tax threshold for the smallest of small businesses and passing a transportation…

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Washington’s long-term care program needs more than a short-term delay

By Kris Johnson When the Legislature convened the 2022 session last month, lawmakers made long-term care their first order of business. It’s probably not a topic you thought about much until recently, but news that every employee in the state (except for some who were able to opt-out — more about that in a moment) would begin paying a new tax on Jan. 1 caught people’s attention. Amid an outcry from employees…

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VSH CPAs builds momentum with merger to strengthen business advisory expertise

Lydia Ahn will join VSH as Partner Focused on International Tax and Transactions With an eye on continued growth and expanded capabilities, VSH CPAs (VSH) announced in late September that Lydia Ahn will be joining the firm as partner and merging Ahn Tax & Business Advisors (ATBA) into the 23-year-old business advisory, tax and accounting…

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