tax breaks

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Amazon’s ever-expanding footprint in Seattle — and the polarizing growing pains that accompany it — contrasts what’s currently happening in northeastern Oregon.

There, Amazon’s cloud computing division recently won approval for another data center, along with a hefty tax break. It’s the seventh Amazon data complex to be built in the area. There are four operations at various stages of construction or completion in Umatilla County, and three others in neighboring Morrow County.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Democrats in the Washington Legislature want to revive a tax break for buyers of electric cars, which critics view as wasteful and unnecessary. Meanwhile, a publicly-financed rebate for battery-powered cars in Oregon is finding thousands of takers.

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Jarle Vines Jarvin / Wikimedia Commons

Alcoa’s decision to idle two aluminum plants in Washington comes just months after state lawmakers renewed tax breaks for the company.

thedigitelmyr / Flickr

Oregon shoppers and bottled water will remain untaxed in Washington’s next two-year budget, but a couple of other tax exemptions will be eliminated.

Washington House Finance Chairman Reuven Carlyle. Credit: Washington Legislature

It was the legislative equivalent of a buzzer beater. Just as the Washington legislature was about to adjourn last month, the House and Senate quickly passed a series of tax breaks mostly for businesses. They included exemptions for dance clubs, mint growers, dairy products and this one: digital data used by international investment firms.

That last one will largely benefit a single global firm – Seattle-based Russell Investments. This tax break passed despite efforts to close these kinds of loopholes.