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.
Dr. Justin Marlowe
Professor of Public Finanace and Associate Dean for Executive Education, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington
Professor Marlowe teaches graduate level courses on public financial management and budgeting at the Evans School, where he also serves as Associate Dean for Executive Education.
Professor Marlowe has published three books and more than 50 articles on a variety of topics in public financial management. He has served on expert advisory boards for King County, the Washington State Auditor, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, and the National Academies of Science, among others. He also routinely works as a consultant and expert witness for state and local governments, investment banks, and other public and private sector clients. He writes a regular column in Governing magazine, and he is lead author of Governing's popular Guide to Financial Literacy series for state and local elected officials.
Prior to academia, Professor Marlowe worked in local government in Michigan. He is a Certified Government Financial Manager, and he holds a Ph.D. and MA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as well as a B.S. in Public Administration and MPA from Northern Michigan University.
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.
Senator Mark Mullet
Mark Mullet is proud to represent the 5th Legislative District communities of Black Diamond, Maple Valley, Issaquah, North Bend, Carnation, Snoqualmie and parts of Enumclaw and Renton.
Mark is the chair of the Senate Financial Institutions, Economic Development & Trade Committee. He is also a member of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. Additionally, Mark serves on the Joint Legislative Audit Review Committee.
Mark has written legislation that has improved health care transparency, financial literacy, and employees ability to save for retirement. His Senate Bill 6228 required health insurance carriers to provide price and quality information to enable members to make treatment choices based on cost, quality and patient experience. His Senate Bill 5202 required schools to teach basics such as how to manage a checkbook, how savings compound and provide financial security, and so forth. His Senate Bill 5826 enabled small business owners to offer simple, affordable retirement savings plans run entirely by the private sector at no cost to the employer and minimal cost to employees.
Mark played key roles in enabling a new high school in the middle of Maple Valley, enhancing Lake Sammamish State Park and bringing improvements to the historic district in downtown Snoqualmie.
After more than 12 years in international finance at Bank of America and serving as the Global Head of Foreign Currency Options Trading, which made him responsible for doing business across three different continents, Mark returned to his home state. From 2009 to 2012, he served as an Issaquah City councilman. Mark currently owns several small businesses on the eastside: two Zeeks Pizza restaurants and three Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream shops.
Mark earned a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Evans School at the University of Washington and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in finance from Indiana University. Mark attended Foster High School in Tukwila and was the Washington State high school tennis champion in 1989 and 1990. Mark lives in Issaquah with his wife Kelley and their six children.
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.