Maria Cantwell discusses jobs, stumps for votes in Gilman Village

November 13, 2012

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell focused on the economy and education during a campaign stop at Issaquah’s Gilman Village early Nov. 2, and urged voters to return ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Maria Cantwell

Cantwell’s 26-city “Jobs for Washington” bus tour across the state stopped at the Issaquah Coffee Co. In remarks to a group of sign-toting Democrats and local dignitaries, she emphasized efforts to aid small businesses since the economy collapsed in 2008.

“In my opinion, a lot of money went to Wall Street and the five big banks, and Main Street got the short end of the stick,” she said. “Well, we worked hard to try to correct that by passing a new bill to help support community banks who would lend to small business. In fact, that program helped banks from Issaquah to Bellingham increase their lending to small businesses by as much as 24 percent.”

Cantwell said Eastside residents — and a workforce defined by Boeing engineers and Microsoft programmers — value quality education.

Read more

Maria Cantwell discusses jobs at Issaquah campaign stop

November 2, 2012

NEW — 12:30 p.m. Nov. 2, 2012

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell focused on the economy and education during a campaign stop at Issaquah’s Gilman Village early Friday, and urged voters to return ballots by the Tuesday deadline.

Maria Cantwell

Cantwell’s 26-city “Jobs for Washington” bus tour across the state stopped at the Issaquah Coffee Co. In remarks to a group of sign-toting supporters and local dignitaries, she emphasized efforts to aid small businesses since the economy collapsed in 2008.

“In my opinion, a lot of money went to Wall Street and the five big banks, and Main Street got the short end of the stick,” she said. “Well, we worked hard to try to correct that by passing a new bill to help support community banks who would lend to small business. In fact, that program helped banks from Issaquah to Bellingham increase their lending to small businesses by as much as 24 percent.”

Read more

Change in geography alters landscape for congressional race

October 23, 2012

Karen Porterfield

Dave Reichert

The showdown in the 8th Congressional District is far different from the most recent contests for the seat.

Incumbent Republican Dave Reichert held on amid spirited challenges from Democrats in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Redistricting last year reshaped the landscape for the district, and the 2012 race is not attracting the same kind of attention — or money — as the earlier battles.

Reichert’s opponent is Issaquah Democrat Karen Porterfield, a nonprofit professional and adjunct instructor at Seattle University.

Porterfield grew up in Seattle, in a family active in Democratic politics, and settled in Issaquah more than a decade ago. She said the expertise she gained in affordable housing development and in leadership roles at nonprofit organizations means she could offer a unique perspective in Congress.

Read more

Issaquah election results offer clues to November

September 18, 2012

King County is a hard-fought battleground in the race for governor, and the August primary election results for Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna confirm Issaquah is closely divided, too.

Only 150 votes separated McKenna from Inslee among Issaquah voters last month. In 2004, for comparison, 133 votes statewide decided the contest between Chris Gregoire and Dino Rossi.

The information comes from a detailed analysis of precinct results in the Aug. 7 election. Elsewhere on the ballot, Issaquah voters endorsed incumbents, and rejected past and present state legislators’ bids for higher office.

Read more

Former school board member enters race for Congress

January 31, 2012

Larry Ishmael, a former Issaquah School Board member and Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee in 2006 and 2008, is running for Congress in the redrawn 1st Congressional District.

The independent candidate eschewed a party label for the latest run, but said voters seek a candidate unattached to the political establishment in either party.

“The reasons I ran in 2006 are the same reasons I am running today, bitter partisan politics have destroyed Congress’s ability to accomplish anything for the American people,” he said in a statement. “The only way to break the cycle of pain is to elect more independents that are willing to represent their constituents in Congress and not their political party or special interest groups.”

Ishmael faltered in the contests against the incumbent Democrat, garnering 32 percent against Inslee in 2006 and 2008 — both strong years for Democrats in Washington and nationwide. Inslee is running for governor against Republican state Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Read more

Larry Ishmael, former Issaquah School Board member, enters race for Congress

January 30, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 30, 2012

Larry Ishmael, a former Issaquah School Board member and Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee in 2006 and 2008, is running for Congress in the redrawn 1st Congressional District.

The independent candidate eschewed a party label for the latest run, but said voters seek a candidate unattached to the political establishment in either party.

“The reasons I ran in 2006 are the same reasons I am running today, bitter partisan politics have destroyed Congress’s ability to accomplish anything for the American people,” he said in a statement. “The only way to break the cycle of pain is to elect more independents that are willing to represent their constituents in Congress and not their political party or special interest groups.”

Read more

Department of Revenue enables Washingtonians to search for unclaimed cash

September 18, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 18, 2011

The state Department of Revenue returned unclaimed property to a record 108,441 claimants during the 2011 fiscal year, due in part to a sharp increase in businesses reporting unclaimed property to the state.

The number of individuals claiming property during the same period increased by more than 10,000 from the previous fiscal year. Individuals claimed $46.5 million in the fiscal year ending June 30.

Revenue Director Suzan DelBene said the number of businesses reporting unclaimed property increased substantially over the past decade, from fewer than 5,000 to more than 26,000. The director attributed publicity and continuing educational efforts to the increase in reporting.

Unclaimed property includes unclaimed paychecks, utility deposits, bank accounts, uncashed refunds, life insurance proceeds, stocks and bonds, and contents from safe deposit boxes.

During the past fiscal year, the Department of Revenue added 750,000 names and a record $102.5 million to the searchable online database of unclaimed property. The database contains more than 3 million names and $821 million.

Department of Revenue updates tax filing for businesses

April 19, 2011

Businesses filing state excise tax returns quarterly must file and pay electronically due to legislation effective July 23.

More than half of the state’s quarterly filers use E-file, the state Department of Revenue’s online filing tool.

Engrossed House Bill 1357 requires electronic filing and payment by all quarterly filers. Taxpayers with extenuating circumstances — such as no computer or no Internet access — can request a waiver.

Legislators required monthly filers to electronically file and pay in 2009.

Department Director Suzan DelBene said the agency requested the legislation as a way to save money for the state and for taxpayers.

“E-file improves the efficiency of state government by reducing paper handling. It also helps businesses avoid mistakes that can lead to costly penalties,” she said in a release. “In addition, this tool provides taxpayers with 24/7 access to their returns, automatic error checking, several electronic payment options and instantaneous delivery of the return with confirmation.”

The department plans to notify affected businesses in mid-May.

State offers a reprieve for delinquent taxpayers

February 7, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Feb. 7, 2011

The state is offering some businesses more time to settle old tax bills.

The state Department of Revenue launched a tax amnesty program Feb. 1 to waive penalties and interest on certain unpaid state business taxes.

Legislators OK’d the amnesty program for businesses facing overdue state tax bills in early December. Taxpayers may be eligible to pay the overdue taxes without penalties or interest under the amnesty program.

The amnesty — authorized by the Legislature during a one-day special session Dec. 11 — applies to state business-and-occupation and public-utility taxes, and state and local sales and use taxes.

“Hardworking business owners have faced some very tough economic times over the past several years,” Revenue Director Suzan DelBene said. “This program will help them meet their tax obligations without the additional burden of penalties and interest.”

Read more

Leaders seek input to simplify state tax system

January 31, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 31, 2011

The state Department of Revenue is in gathering ideas to simplify the tax system — and officials want input from residents.

The agency seeks ideas about how the state can simplify the tax system for small businesses. Officials launched a survey to collect input.

The department is soliciting tax-simplification ideas in response to a directive from Gov. Chris Gregoire.

The process includes meetings with stakeholders to gather information about the burdens and costs of complying with the tax system. The survey is intended to supplement the process and gather input from as broad a segment of the small business community as possible.

The department plans to present findings and recommendations to Gregoire by June 30.

Read more

Next Page »