New York has “bold vision” for start-up talent; what about Washington?

From the WashACE blog today… Seattle Times columnists Briar Dudley has a fascinating look at the full-court press New York City is employing to attract entrepreneurial talent and nurture a robust start-up culture.  The centerpiece is a new $2 billion university – Cornell NYC Tech – whose outreach reportedly will be closely intertwined with expertise from heavy hitter employers for which any city or state would salivate.  Think Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Microsoft.  Employers that are in our backyard today and constantly searching for talent . Unfortunately, too often, they are coming up short.  Just this spring, a Boston Consulting Group/Washington Roundtable study found that 25,000 jobs were unfilled in Washington state due to a lack of qualified candidates.  The vast majority of these are high skill and STEM jobs (science, technology, engineering and math) that support innovation and economic growth.  If Washington took steps to fill this growing skills gap, it would mean 160,000 jobs spread across the economy and $720 million in new state tax revenue each year.

For decades, Washington has benefited from the start-up culture that New York is aggressively pursuing.  Lucky us. Now one of the biggest, most economically attractive regions in the country is after our bread and butter.  Should we be scared?  At least a bit.  Read more about what Washington is doing and why bold vision is needed here in our state on the WashACE blog.

New COST study: Washington ranks 9th highest for business taxes

The Council on State Taxation (COST) recently released its annual report on state and local business taxes and, again, Washington’s business tax structure isn’t stacking up all that well.  As reported on the Washington Research Council blog, taxes paid by businesses were 53.9 of percent total state and local taxes in Washington for FY 2012. Washington ranked 9th highest among the states in the share of state and local taxes paid by businesses. The nationwide average business share of state and local taxes was 45.2 percent.

Five states got more than 50 percent of state and local taxes from businesses: Alaska (89.7 percent), North Dakota (73.5 percent), Wyoming (73.2 percent), Texas (61.5 percent) and Louisiana (60.7 percent). Each of these states raises a good deal of revenue from severance taxes on petroleum production.

The COST study can be downloaded here.