Author Archives: Judy Cox

About Judy Cox

Judy is MRSC’s expert on budgeting, revenue options and forecasting, financing capital projects, and everything else related to local government finance. If you’ve got a money question, Judy’s your go-to resource.

JLARC Provides More Information on Lodging Tax Reporting Requirements

The Joint Legislative and Review Committee (JLARC) has posted new information on its website regarding reporting requirements for the lodging tax under ESHB 1253, passed by the legislature during the 2013 session. 

Posted in Finance, Legal

Update on Liquor Excise Tax Distributions

City and county revenue forecasters are close readers of the “Revenue Forecasts” section in our Budget Suggestions publication each year, and they have been waiting for information on which forecast they should use for their budgets:  the “Higher Revenue” forecast … Continue reading

Posted in Finance, General

The Increase in the Implicit Price Deflator (IPD) from June 2012 to June 2013 Is 1.314 Percent

This means, for most jurisdictions, the maximum allowable levy increase for 2014 is 1 percent of the 2013 levy (plus taxes on new construction and the change in the value of state-assessed utility property). “What do you mean, ‘June?’ Isn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Finance, General, Levies | 1 Comment

How Many Budget Hearings…?

 Labor Day is coming… next week!  And, for many cities, this marks the beginning of their budget preparation season.  Others have started already. I tell myself that after all the years I have worked at MRSC I should not be … Continue reading

Posted in Finance, Governance | 1 Comment

Why Is Vancouver’s Sales Tax Rate Higher than Ours?

This is the time of year when councils are looking for more revenue, and we start getting a form of the following question: “Why is the sales tax rate in Vancouver (or Wenatchee or Seattle or Spokane, etc.)  higher than … Continue reading

Posted in Finance

The Sun Is Still Shining: Most Uses of Lodging Tax Revenues are Preserved

In a nutshell:  With the passage of ESHB 1253, all the current allowed uses of lodging tax funds have been preserved except one—lodging tax funds may no longer be spent on capital expenditures for tourism-related facilities owned by nonprofit organizations.

Posted in Finance, General | 1 Comment

Be Aware and Beware of Interest Rate Risk

Last November, the Office of the State Treasurer published a memo titled “Looking for Yield in a Low Rate Environment: Risks to Avoid.” Five months later, we still have a “low rate environment,” and the advice given in that memo … Continue reading

Posted in Finance