I went down and read the resolution... it's bringing the tax rates in line with Tacoma. The Tacoma rates are a direct multiplier, and the Ruston rates are a multiplier of one percent. This had me VERY nervous. Based on my reading of the resolution they're going to be about the same as Tacoma.
I had some comments today on Ruston's proposed B&O tax increase (2 of which I lost, sorry). There was concern that the decimal point was off in Ruston's rates as listed. I double checked what was handed out at the last council meeting (December 1, 2008). I don't have access to a scanner in my hotel room in Arizona, so I can't provide as much detail as I'd like.
Ordinance 1274 will take effect 5 days after it is approved. A vote is scheduled at tonight's meeting. I can't attend, but I'll post the outcome as soon as I can. The ordinance reads exactly the same as what is currently on the books with these exceptions:
- Section 5.01.010 reads: Purpose. It is the policy and intention of the Town of Ruston to impose upon businesses and occupations conducted in the Town a business and occupation tax, - deleting "which shall in each instance equal 10 percent of the amount payable by the taxpayer to the State of Washington under the State business and occupation tax" and adding " and, in imposing such tax, to ensure both adequate revenue for Town operations and fairness to taxpayers by setting rates commensurate with those imposed by surrounding communities and throughout the State."
- And increasing the rate as previously listed. In each case, the gross value of products or gross proceeds of sales (not the profit) are to "be multiplied by the rate of __ " depending on which category of business.
One of the previous comments linked to Tacoma's B&O tax rate. The council has said repeatedly they want to make Ruston's rate comparable to Tacoma's. Here is how Ruston's new rates compare to Tacoma's current rates:
- Extractor: Ruston 0.11 - Tacoma does not have this category
- Manufacturer: Ruston 0.11 - Tacoma 0.0011
- Wholesale Sales: Ruston, 0.102 - Tacoma 0.00102
- Retail Sales: Ruston 0.153 - Tacoma 0.00153
- Printing: Ruston 0.20 - Tacoma does not have this category
- All others: Ruston o.20 - Tacoma 0.0040 (includes service businesses)
- Tacoma also has a category for International Investment at a tax rate of 0.00275
It is possible there is something in how this tax is levied that moves the decimal point or that the Town has always charged a higher tax rate, but to a lay person like me it sure looks like Ruston will be the least likely place new businesses will want to set up shop from now on. This could have a negative impact on Point Ruston's retail center now planned inside the Ruston boundaries. Just my opinion, what's yours? ~ Karen