Over 800,000 jobs in Washington State depend on the retail industry. The WRA helps protect those jobs and their employers.
WRA is the only association in Washington formed exclusively to advocate the unique interest of the retailing industry on state legislative and regulatory issues. Our strength is in our numbers and in the diversity of our membership. WRA represents over 2,800 retail storefronts. Our roster includes all types of retailers in all parts of the state, including the largest national chains to the smallest independent businesses. Members include wholesalers, dealers, professional services, and mall owners & operators.
Learn about how the retail industry is vital the economy of the State of Washington.
1. Taxes and Fees
WRA will fight to stop the increase of any existing tax, the imposition of a new tax or the elimination of any existing tax incentive or preference currently maintained for the benefit of retailers. WRA also will oppose attempts to increase or impose fees or extend more taxing authority to local governments without a vote of the people.
2. Minimum/Living Wage
WRA will oppose efforts to adopt a “living wage” higher than our state minimum wage of $9.47, the nation’s highest. WRA prefers financial incentives such as a teen and training wage to help younger workers enter the job market and encourage business to hire more workers.
3. Mandatory Leave Laws
WRA will oppose efforts to adopt sick and safe leave or any other mandated leave on a statewide or local basis due to the expense, administrative burden, inflexibility and exposure to lawsuits.
4. Registering paid signature gatherers
WRA is supporting legislation to require paid signature gathering businesses to register their employees with the Secretary of State. Such legislation would include a short training component to clarify the rights of store owners and signature gatherers to ensure an unencumbered shopping experience for customers.
5. Product stewardship
WRA will continue to support a producer or manufacturer-responsibility model for all products at their end of life. WRA opposes mandatory take back of items, mandatory signage and sales receipt requirements or point-of-sale fees or taxes.
6. Organized retail crime
WRA will support efforts to enhance the state’s existing ORC laws passed to extend tools to retailers, police and prosecutors to curb this growing crime. It is estimated that nationwide, crime rings annually steal more than $30 billion in merchandise.
7. Independent contractors
WRA will strongly oppose any attempts to alter the existing definition of independent contractors that would classify them as employees of the companies that contract with them.
8. Workers’ comp reform
WRA will continue to support reforms to speed the processing of claims and save the system money while ensuring that injured worker get the benefits to which they are entitled.
9. Unemployment insurance
WRA will fight to ensure that the state’s healthy trust fund is not raided for unrelated reasons. WRA also encourages the state to upgrade the efficiency of its aging computer system to better manage the cost of processing claims and administering the employer tax.
10. Sales tax holiday for back-to-school
WRA will continue to support a producer or manufacturer responsibility model for all products at their end-of-life. WRA opposes mandatory take back of items, mandatory signage and sales receipts requirements, and point-of-sale fees or taxes.
WRA LOBBYING TEAM
(360) 200-6450 x19
Vice President | Government Affairs
(360) 943-9198 x15