House Finance Chair Rep. Kristine Lytton (D – Anacortes) wants to make it easier for Washington businesses to file their B&O taxes.

Last night the House passed Lytton’s bill (HB 2959) by a 93-4 vote to direct the Department of Revenue to spend the next year working on a plan to build an online tax and licensing portal that could simplify the process of paying city B&O taxes.

Currently, businesses that operate in different cities have to file their local B&O taxes separately for each city, then file again with the state. This process is time-consuming, confusing and potentially costly because of separate filing fees.

“I want to make it as easy as possible for the single parent with a small business based in Anacortes to begin making deliveries to Mount Vernon, or open a second location in Bellingham,” Lytton said. “This one-stop destination will give cities the option to work together with the state and simplify the process of licensing and paying taxes for Washington businesses.”

Several of Washington’s largest cities already partnered to work on a similar project for businesses in those cities. Those cities would be part of the DOR working group, helping to make an online state portal that would complement the work they’ve already done.

Lytton’s bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.