Do you have news or updates that WFOA Members would benefit from?

Email: Stacie Tellers, Legislative and Professional Standards Chair

City Business License Update – IMPORTANT DATES BELOW

AWC issued an update in regards to the Business license and City B&O tax simplification issues that were passed in EBH 2005 (RCW 35.90) during the 2017 session. The law included the following:

  • Requires cities with business licenses to establish a workgroup to create a model business license with a licensing threshold by July 2018 for adoption by all business license cities by January 1, 2019;
  • Requires all cities with business license to administer their business license through the state’s Business Licensing System (BLS) by 2022 or FileLocal by 2020; and
  • Establishes a task force on local B&O tax service apportionment under RCW 35.102.130 to report to the Legislature by October 2018.

The FINAL model ordinance has been issued, includes a minimum threshold exemption for required licensing.

All Cities with a business license must adopt the model ordinance by January 1, 2019, however any City already partnered with the State’s Business Licensing Service (BLS) for business licensing administration has a deadline of October 17, 2018 due to the 75-day BLS notice required.

Visit AWC’s website for full details: AWC Business License News

Originally published by: AWC’s Victoria Lincoln, Andrew Pittelkau, & Sheila Gall via the AWC Advocacy News page.

Added July 30, 2018

FREE – Webinar on Fiduciary Activities (GASB Statement 84)

Did you miss the Thursday July 12, 2018 FREE webinar from KPMG Institutes on Fiduciary Activities Accounting and Reporting Under GASB Statement No. 84?

As one of the speakers said, “This Statement is small (28 paragraphs) yet mighty”. Fiduciary Activities could have a large impact on an entity’s fiduciary reports.

This webinar provides an overview of the accounting and financial reporting requirements for fiduciary activities as defined in GASB Statement No. 84, discusses key concepts and their potential implications to governments, and provides information on identifying implementation considerations and timelines. To watch the 2 hour webcast, click the link below:

GASB 84 – Fiduciary Activities KPMG Webcast
The webcast can also be found on the KPMG Government Institute website by clicking the following link: KPMG Government Institute and then clicking on the “Launch Webcast” link found below the CPE Credit(s) information. (Note: CPE is not available on pre-recorded webcasts).

Published by KPMG Government Institute

Added July 13, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Favorable Decision in Remote Sales Tax Case

On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., overturning the outdated physical presence standard. This long-anticipated decision clears the way for state and local governments to enforce existing sales and use tax laws on remote sales. For well over two decades, GFOA and other state and local government organizations have pursued a simplified framework of sales and use tax administration to address the ever evolving and growing online retail marketplace. Until this year, the focus has primarily been on Congress where organizations like GFOA have advocated for legislation such as the Marketplace Fairness Act. Without the authority to impose current sales and use tax laws on many remote and online purchases, states and local governments have lost billions of vital revenue for public services every year.

Upon release of the decision, GFOA joined others in the state and local government community and issued a statement. “State and local organizations applaud the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision recognizing that the 1992 Quill ruling put Main Street retailers at a competitive disadvantage to remote sellers and the efforts by states to simplify the sales tax collection process and giving those states remote sales tax collection authority. For 26 years Congress has failed to act and through the efforts of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the federal government has finally recognized the changing nature of commerce and state efforts to simplify the collection process.”

View the Press Release
GFOA remains committed to finding a solution that simplifies and streamlines the collection of sales taxes that makes sense for all stakeholders involved and finally provides a level playing field that treats all businesses alike, whether selling from a brick-and-mortar store or completely online.

Published on GFOA: GFOA Website – U.S. Supreme Court Decision

Added July 3, 2018

GASB Establishes New Guidance for Interest Cost
Incurred Before the End of a Construction Period

Norwalk, CT, June 22, 2018—The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) today released guidance establishing accounting requirements for interest cost incurred before the end of a construction period.

Statement No. 89, Accounting for Interest Cost Incurred before the End of a Construction Period, establishes guidance designed to enhance the relevance and comparability of information about capital assets and the cost of borrowing for a reporting period. It also simplifies accounting for interest cost incurred before the end of a construction period.

For financial statements prepared using the economic resources measurement focus, interest cost incurred before the end of a construction period should be recognized as an expense in the period in which the cost is incurred. Such interest cost should not be capitalized as part of the historical cost of a capital asset.

For financial statements prepared using the current financial resources measurement focus, interest incurred before the end of a construction period should continue to be recognized as an expenditure on a basis consistent with governmental fund accounting principles.

The full text of Statement 89 is available on the GASB website,

Added July 3, 2018

Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave

Beginning January 1, 2020, many Washington State employees will have access to Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits.

The insurance program (administered by the Employment Security Department) allows workers up to 12 weeks of leave (for eligible purposes) while receiving partial wage replacement benefits.

The Employment Security Department Advisory Committee provides continually updates for employers and employees via their website: WA ESD Paid Family and Medical Leave Homepage

Premium assessments for employers and employees will start on January 1, 2019.

Employers can file for approval of a Voluntary Plan; if their paid family and medical leave benefits provide at least the same benefits as the state plan.

How does this affect your entity? Here is an example provided by the ESD:

Question: What premium responsibilities do I have as an employer?

Answer:    A total premium of 0.4 percent up to the social security cap is assessed for each employee. Generally speaking, the employer is responsible for approximately 37 percent of that premium. So if an employee makes $50,000 annually, the total annual assessment would be $200, of which $126.67 would be paid for by the employee, and $73.33 would be paid for by the employer. Employers will be responsible for remitting all premiums collected for Paid Family and Medical Leave to the state. Employers are also required to report hours and wages.

The next Advisory Committee Meeting is scheduled for May 17, 2018 from 10am – 12pm, in Lacey, WA.

The next Rule Making Public Hearing is scheduled for May 23, 2018 at 9am, in Lacey, WA.

For more information: please check out the WA ESD Paid Family and Medical Leave Homepage

By: Stacie Tellers/WFOA Legislation and Professional Standards Committee Chair:

Added April 25, 2018