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2019/2020 Legislative Priorities

Written & Distributed from the Offices of Gjurasic, Kohl & Baldwin

Public Affairs Consultants

Issues of the 2019/2020 Session

These were issues important in the last 2019 session.  For those issues that did not pass in the 2019 legislative session they are still available for the 2020 legislative session.  The first day of the 60-Day 2020 session is Monday, January 13, 2020.

1. Capital gains tax:  Which would have impacted real-estate, sales of stocks and bonds and precious metals. (Died)

2. Residential or commercial rent control (Died)

3. B&O tax increase on real-estate related services, such as property management fees, commissions, etc. other areas went up such as banks (from 1.5% to 2.7%), and other professional services receive (from 1.5% to 1.8%), travel agents and tour operators    (from .275% to .9%), plus other professional services were raised as well.

4. Real-Estate Excise Tax (REET) changes at a graduated rate.  Lowers the state rate to 1.1% for properties under $500,000.  The current 1.28% rate would remain for properties sold between $500,000 to $1.5 million.  Properties sold between $1.5 million to $3 million would have a 2.75% rate and anything above $3 million is at a 3% rate.

5. Current property tax “Levy Lid” increased to allow school districts to raise more revenue for education.  Based on a certain formula, which was requested by school districts in Tacoma, Olympia and Seattle.

6. State Building Code Council:  The SBCC proposed that fire sprinklers are to be mandated for new construction of storage units 2,500 square feet and above. WA-SSA opposed the proposal and offered an amendment prepared by Andrew Klein, P.E. and Mark Gjurasic. Patrick Reilly, WA-SSA President and Patrick J. Gilroy, The Stor-House Self Storage, testified at the SBCC meeting on WA-SSA’s proposed changes. Patrick Gilroy read WA-SSA’s letter to the council. Patrick Reilly testified, calling the amendment into question and pervasively requested the council to pull it from the current set of code amendments. Mr. Al Audette, BIAW, also submitted testimony questioning the validity of the code change and submitted comments supporting WA-SSA’s position.

7. Taxation of Storage Units by Local Governments:  Local governments, including Federal Way, are looking to tax storage units and add new regulatory requirements.  WA-SSA & its lobbying team need to continually work with other stakeholders on a local basis to oppose taxation and new construction requirements for existing and new storage units.  Often local governments tend to copy such government ordinances to fund their own local needs.

Let’s consider having a “Olympia Visitation Day” during the 2020 session to have our members come to Olympia to oppose and support various industry issues, as well as, meet with their House and Senate members.  Our office can help you organize an Olympia Day. 

Please let your lobbying team know about your interest in organizing such a day. 


Rep. Kristine Kilduff 

Chair of the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee.

Dear WA-SSA Members:

For your general information, on Thursday, September 12 the House Democratic Caucus just named Rep. Kristine Kilduff (D-28), of Pierce County, as the new Chair of the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee.  She previously was a member of the committee and will be replacing Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-27), also of Pierce County, who is the new Speaker designee.  Rep. My-Linh Thai (D-41) will continue to be the Vice Chair of the committee.  This committee deals with various issues to include commercial and landlord-tenant laws.

Rep. Kilduff was first elected in 2014 and her district includes western Tacoma and half of Lakewood, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, DuPont, Steilacoom, Fircrest and University Place.  She majored in Spanish and Italian literature at Boston College, graduated summa cum laude and with Phi Beta Kappa honors before attending the Boston College Law School.  Prior to being elected to the House of Representatives she worked as an assistant attorney general,

For further information, please see the following presses release from the Washington State House Democrats:

Written & Distributed From the Offices of Gjurasic, Kohl & Baldwin

Public Affairs Consultants 


State Capital Gains Tax, B&O Tax Increase &

Real-Estate Excise Tax Hearings Next Week

Come to Olympia To Testify


Calling all WA-SSA Members to come to Olympia and testify to OPPOSE – 

Capital Gains Tax, B&O Tax Increase & 

Real-Estate Excise Tax (REET)


House Democrat revenue bills are scheduled for a Hearing and/or Executive Session next week which include the following:

 HB 2156,  Investing in quality prekindergarten, K-12, and postsecondary opportunities throughout Washington with excise taxes on sales and extraordinary profits of high valued assets.

Sponsors: Jinkins, Tarleton, Sullivan, Ormsby, Bergquist, Robinson, Senn

Adopting a 9.9% capital gains tax and increasing the real estate excise tax.

Hearing:                      Thursday, April 4 at 8:00 a.m. in the House Finance Committee JLOB Rm A

Executive Session:      Friday, April 5 at 8:00 a.m. in the House Finance Committee

                                                JLOB Rm A

 HB 2157,  Updating the Washington tax structure to address the needs of Washingtonians.

Sponsors: Tarleton, Sullivan, Ormsby, Bergquist, Robinson

Four separate repeals of tax exemptions – including the non-resident sales tax exemption into a remittance program.

Hearing:                      Thursday, April 4 at 8:00 a.m. in the House Finance Committee JLOB Rm A

Executive Session:      Friday, April 5 at 8:00 a.m. in the House Finance Committee

                                                JLOB Rm A

 HB 2158 , Creating a workforce education investment to train Washington students for Washington jobs.

Sponsors: Hansen, Tarleton, Ormsby, Sullivan, Robinson, Bergquist, Slatter, Pollet, Valdez, Sells, Tharinger, Ortiz-Self

Increasing the service Business and Occupation Tax by 20%-33%.


Executive Session:      Tuesday, April 2 at 8:00 a.m. in the House Finance Committee

                                                JLOB Rm A

If you have any questions about these bills feel free to contact your Lobbyists directly. 

Please email Mark Gjurasic at  if you plan on attending the hearings to testify in opposition.

We also urge you to contact, send an email and follow-up with a phone call, to all of the 

House Finance Committee Members to oppose these bills.





WA-SSA 2018 Washington State Midterm General Election Update 

Blue Wave in Washington State

By: Mark Gjurasic & Chester Baldwin, WA-SSA Lobbyists

There were record voter turnouts for the General Election on Tuesday, November 6 which produced interesting election results. In Washington State, Democrats made gains in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

We believe the makeup in January for the 2019 session will likely land on 55-43 in a Democratcontrolled House of Representatives and 26-23 in a Democrat controlled Senate. Those numbers could change by one or two at the most for either chamber. Prior to the election, the makeup of the House of Representatives was 50 Democrats to 48 Republicans and the Senate was 25 Democrats to 24 Republicans, with Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-35) joining the Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) creating a Republican Majority.

Washington State is an entirely vote-by-mail system and the final results will not be available for some time until all the ballots are counted. The Washington Secretary of State, Kim Wyman, has until Thursday, December 6 to certify the general election results.

Notable Washington State Incumbent Losses:

Notable losses include Rep. Paul Graves (R-5), Rep. Dick Muri (R-28), Rep. Vincent Buys (R-42), Rep. Mark Harmsworth (R-44), Rep. David Taylor (R-15, in the Primary), Rep. Mark Hargrove (R- 47), Sen. Maralyn Chase (D-32), and Sen. Mark Miloscia (R-30).

The face of the Washington State Legislature will be significantly different in the 2019 session which begins on Monday, January 14 and ends on Sunday, April 28.

Initiative 1631 – Carbon Tax:

Initiative 1631 which would place a carbon tax on our energy was defeated by 56.27%. This ill- advised measure would have increased costs for all of our energy from gas to electricity - costing consumers and businesses billions of dollars.

Your lobbying team will keep you further updated when the Secretary of State certifies the 2018 election results on the final outcome of the 2018 Washington State General Election.


2019 Legislative Issues

Members of the Washington Self-Storage Association:

The 2019 legislative session is to begin on Monday, January 14 through Sunday, April 28 for105 days. We expect our members to be active in communication with lawmakers and attending hearings when our Legislative Chair, Don Arsenault, and WA-
SSA Lobbyists Terry Kohl, Mark Gjurasic and Chester Baldwin send out 
our “Legislative Alerts.”

We are working very closely with the Washington Real-Estate Coalition (WREC), Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Washington Landlord Association (WLA), Washington Realtors Association and others to have a unified position on various issues.

Let’s review some of these that are certain to be introduced and have hearings in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

WA-SSA 2019 Legislative Issues 11.7.2018.pdf

The 2018 Washington State Legislative session ended March 8.  There were no new taxes on real-estate properties and successful opposition to residential rent control in Washington State. 

There are significant increases in revenues to the state budget, which by the year 2021 will be increased to $1.3 billion dollars. Be sure to come back as we roll into the 2019 Legislative Session for updates.  In the meantime if you would like to see a report from the 2018 session, 

  Lobbyist Report

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