Washington State needs jobs. That is the message coming from the majority coalition caucus in Olympia these days. One lawmaker believes he has the bill to do it. Spokane Valley Senator Mike Padden’s bill would give start-up businesses a break by allowing them three years before they would have to pay the State B-and-O tax. Washington’s B-and-O, or business and occupations tax, is the only one of its kind out of all 50 states.

Senate bill 5109 had a hearing Tuesday in the Senate Trade and Economic Development Committee. It would allow new businesses with 25 or fewer people to be exempt from the B-and-O tax for the first two years, then pay only 50% the third year. Padden says would help give struggling start-ups a chance to succeed without penalizing them whether they turn a profit or not.

The same bill passed the Trade and Economic Development Committee last year, but stalled in the House of Representatives.