Dr. Grant D. Forsyth, Chair
Chief Economist, Avista Corp.
Dr. Forsyth is the Chief Economist of Avista Corp. Before coming to Avista in 2012, he was Professor of Economics at Eastern Washington University from 1999 to 2012. Before EWU, from 1996 to 1999, he worked in the Czech Republic as an academic and private sector economist. He received his BA in Economics from Central Washington University (1988), his MBA in Finance from the University of Oregon (1990), and his PhD in Economics from Washington State University (1996). He also serves on the Washington Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors and the Spokane Mayor’s Economic Advisory Roundtable.
Ronald L. Bueing, Vice Chair
Ron Bueing is a tax lawyer and CPA. Practicing for 30 years, Mr. Bueing specializes in state and local taxes, assisting clients in managing their multistate taxes through planning, structuring and negotiation of voluntary disclosure agreements, and defending taxpayers in tax audits and litigation. Mr. Bueing is recognized for his experience in successfully resolving Washington State & City excise tax disputes in connection with a variety of such taxes including business & occupation tax, sales and use tax, real estate excise tax and utility tax.
Mr. Bueing has a JD and a BA from the University of Washington. Mr. Bueing is the current chair of the Tax & Fiscal Policy Council of the Association of Washington Business and previously served as a member of the Committee for the Study of Electronically Delivered Products.
Diane Lourdes Dick
Associate Professor of Law, Seattle University School of Law
Professor Dick is an Associate Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law. She received her LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she focused on business taxation and served as a Graduate Tax Scholar. From 2005-2010, she was an Associate at Bilzin Sumberg, where she concentrated her practice in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, capital market transactions, debt restructuring and loan workouts.
Professor Dick focuses her scholarship on the intersections of tax, bankruptcy and corporate law. She has written extensively about commercial restructurings under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and the litigation of disputes pertaining to complex commercial financing arrangements.
President, Edmonds Education Association
Andi Nofziger-Meadows is the President of the Edmonds Education Association and the WEA-Cascade UniServ Council. Before being elected President, she was a math and English teacher at Mountlake Terrace High School and Sedro-Woolley High School. She received both her BA (1992) and her Masters (1993) from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. She serves on the Washington Education Association Board of Directors, is a trustee for the Foundation for Edmonds School District, is a member of the WEA Benefits Services Advisory Committee, and is the Legislative Chair of the PTA at her son's school.
Andi and her husband Jim enjoy traveling the world with their son Matthew. She is also an avid baseball fan and remains hopeful that one day she will see her beloved Mariners in the World Series.
Dr. Sharon Kioko
Associate Professor of Public Administration, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington
Sharon Kioko, a nationally recognized public financial management scholar, is Associate Professor at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington.
Dr. Kioko’s research has largely focused on the financial condition of state and local governments, the relevance and significance of financial information in the capital markets, the impact voter initiatives including tax and expenditure limits have on state and their localities. Her work appears in Public Budgeting and Finance, Public Finance Review, National Tax Journal, Journal of Public Administration Theory and Research, and Municipal Finance Journal. Dr. Kioko is also a two-time recipient of the Jesse Burkhead Award for Best Article published in Public Budgeting and Finance (2012, 2017). Her book Financial Strategy for Public Managers (with Justin Marlowe) is the first open-access, graduate-level textbook for public financial management.
Before joining the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, Dr. Kioko was an Associate Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She has a B.A. in economics from University of Nairobi (Kenya), a Master of Public Administration and Ph.D. (Public Affairs) from Indiana University – Bloomington and is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA-Kenya).
Representative Gerry Pollet
After graduating from the University of Washington Law School, he chose a career as a public interest attorney protecting our environment, children, consumers, promoting open government; and, teaching a new generation of public health and law students.
Gerry continues to be active, as he was for many years before becoming a legislator, in numerous neighborhood and public school causes, including working to fully fund public schools, advocate for special education, and helping form the parent coalition working to reduce the overcrowding of public schools in Seattle. He has assisted in organizing and legal efforts in Kenmore and Lake Forest Park to protect local streams, preserve open space and work for the cleanup of toxic dioxin in North Lake Washington. Gerry serves on the Board of the Washington Coalition for Open Government.
Gerry is the vice-chair of the House Higher Education Committee and serves as one of Washington’s three commissioners on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (which oversees the Western Interstate Undergraduate Exchange providing low tuition for Washington residents attending other state’s public universities as well as being one of the nation’s leading providers of research on access and quality for higher education).
As the Executive Director of Heart of America Northwest (the region’s leading citizens’ group dedicated to the cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation), national and regional news media often call on Gerry’s expertise regarding contamination and risks at Hanford. The reservation is the most contaminated area in the western hemisphere. His organizing and advocacy to protect the Columbia River stopped USDOE’s dumping untreated liquid radioactive and chemical wastes straight into the soil and ended plans to use Hanford’s unlined soil landfills as a national chemical-radioactive waste dump for nuclear weapons production. He has sought to protect cleanup workers from deadly exposures to beryllium, toxic vapors and radiation. For more than 10 years, Gerry chaired the committee of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Advisory Board which oversees Hanford’s $2 billion per year budgets, management, and contracts. His work on contract reforms and reducing overhead costs is estimated to have saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
Gerry teaches at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health and some courses at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance; and, he runs a summer internship program for law students in tribal and environmental law. He frequently guest lectures on environmental law and policy, risk assessment, freedom of information/public records, and public participation.
Gerry’s groundbreaking work has been honored by various organizations across the state. In 2010, the University of Washington School of Public Health honored Gerry with its annual Community Service Award. Gerry was also awarded the top annual award for peace and environmental work by Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility in 2005. Heart of America Northwest was named “Best Regional Environmental Group” by Spokane’s environmental and peace organizations. He has been the only legislator honored two years in a row as the Legislator of Year by the state’s public university and college students’ Washington Student Association for his advocacy to improve access to higher education. Gerry has also been recognized by the League of Women Voters with its Sunshine in Government award for his role promoting freedom of information, access to public records and open meetings.
Gerry counts amongst his most significant legislative achievements: the first in the nation regulation to prevent youth use of e-cigarettes and “vape” products and provide state oversight of toxic chemicals in the products; lifting the cap on the number of special education students who the state provides funding for; tens of millions of dollars in funding for renovating and rebuilding schools in the district to address overcrowding; expanding access to affordable higher education with investments in advising and support for students; and, the law stopping predatory towing companies from charging thousands of dollars for people to get their car back if they park in the wrong space.
Gerry lives in North Seattle with his wife Janet Miller. They have two children: Eileen and Henry, who is a student at Western Washington University. In his downtime, Gerry enjoys racewalking through neighborhoods and parks in the 46th District.
Pat McCarthy is the Washington State Auditor. She began her term in January 2017 and is proud to lead the professional auditors who provide a window into taxpayer-funded operations. For the past eight years, she managed the daily operations of Pierce County, the second largest county in Washington. McCarthy has been a public servant for three decades, starting with 12 years on the Tacoma school board. She was elected twice as Pierce County Auditor and served as chair of Sound Transit, as well as an administrator and advisor for the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program at the University of Washington Tacoma. She and her husband, John, live in Tacoma. They have four adult children and eleven grandchildren, all of whom make western Washington their home.
The Citizen Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences was established by the 2006 Legislature (RCW 43.136). The seven-member Commission is made up of five appointees: two appointed by the House, two appointed by the Senate, and one appointed by the Governor; and two non-voting members: the State Auditor and the Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee. Members serve four-year terms and may be reappointed to serve more than one term.
For the purposes of the Commission, the Legislature has defined a “tax preference” as an exemption, exclusion, or deduction from the base of a state tax; a credit against a state tax; a deferral of a state tax; or a preferential state tax rate. The Department of Revenue has on record about 600 such tax preferences.
The Commission develops a schedule to review tax preferences, based on a ten year review schedule. The Commission also comments on the reviews which are conducted independently by JLARC staff.
Statute exempts certain preferences from review. These are:
- tax preferences required by constitutional law;
- sales and use tax exemptions for machinery and equipment for manufacturing, research and development, or testing;
- the small business credit for the business and occupation tax;
- sales and use tax exemptions for food and prescription drugs;
- property tax relief for retired persons;
- and property tax valuations based on current use.
In addition, the Commission may exempt any preference it determines to be a “critical part of the structure of the tax system,” and may recommend an expedited review process for any tax preference.
The Commission meets periodically to consider citizen input and establish a schedule for review of tax preferences. The schedule is delivered to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC). The Commission takes into account any newly enacted or terminated tax preferences and revises the schedule as needed each year. Subject to JLARC’s available resources, the Commission determines which preferences in a given year will undergo a review by JLARC staff, and which will undergo an expedited review.
Reviews and Findings
Tax preference reviews are conducted by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) staff according to the schedule established by the Commission. For each tax preference, JLARC staff will evaluate whether the public policy objective is being met and provide recommendations to continue, modify, or terminate the preference. JLARC must report its findings and recommendations for scheduled tax preferences to the Commission by August 30th of each year. The Commission then reviews and comments on the JLARC report. The final JLARC reports are submitted to House and Senate fiscal committees for a joint hearing.
Commission Bylaws and Policies
Tax Preference FAQs
What is a tax preference?
A "tax preference" means an exemption, exclusion, or deduction from the base of a state tax; a credit against a state tax, a deferral of a state tax, or a preferential state tax rate.
Who conducts tax preference reviews?
The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee shall review tax preferences according to the schedule developed by the Citizen Commission for the Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences (the Commission). Expedited reviews may be provided based on information available from the Department of Revenue. Expedited reviews do not include a JLARC recommendation.
What happens with review findings?
For each tax preference, JLARC staff shall provide a recommendation to the Legislature as to whether the tax preference should be continued, modified, or terminated.
Are any tax preferences exempt from review?
The commission shall omit from the schedule tax preferences that are required by constitutional law, sales and use tax exemptions for machinery and equipment for manufacturing, research and development, or testing, the small business credit for the business and occupation tax, sales and use tax exemptions for food and prescription drugs, property tax relief for retired persons, and property tax valuations based on current use, and may omit any tax preference that the commission determines is a critical part of the structure of the tax system.