The WR Policy and Government Affairs Committee (PGAC) met last week to discuss the most significant issues facing retailers this spring.
The rampant organized retail crime plaguing our communities and genuine concern for public safety was top of mind. PGAC members heard real heart-wrenching stories about violent crimes committed against their businesses and team members. Fortunately, there seems to be a new concerted focus by elected officials, law enforcement, and prosecutors to prevent the crimes from happening in the first place. Should someone commit a crime, they will be apprehended and held accountable. Seattle’s Mayor, City Attorney, and Police Chief are focusing resources and efforts to this end, and WR applauds them for their work and is hopeful their efforts will bear results. To this end, WR has produced an ORT/ORC guide to help retailers prepare their businesses and employees for possible thefts and what to do should they suffer an unfortunate crime event. Download this free resource here.
The PGAC also reviewed the capital gains tax issue, which the Douglas County Superior Court recently ruled as an unconstitutional tax. The state intends to appeal to the Washington Supreme Court. Additionally, an effort to repeal the enacting legislation by initiative has been launched – Initiative 1929, which would rescind Senate Bill 5096. Interestingly the state is still counting on the money even before it is realized. WR’s Board voted to oppose the capital gains tax and support efforts to repeal it.
PGAC also reviewed recently approved requirements to disclose wage and benefit information to prospective employees. WR is working with the Department of Labor and Industries on providing more straightforward information for employers to successfully comply with the new law.
To wrap up, PGAC discussed efforts in Tukwila and Burien to increase the city’s minimum wages and the potential impacts on employment and retail establishments in those jurisdictions. WR’s PGAC is open to all dues-paying members. Please contact Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Policy & Government Affairs at [email protected] if you are interested in joining.