The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Ken Graham
The Times 

Business Donations Move Downtown Ahead

B&O tax incentive program will provide $67,000 for Task Force projects next year


Courtesy Image

Columbia REA CEO Les Teel (left) and Manager of Financial Services Jim Cooper.

DAYTON – A new restroom facility will soon open next to the Dayton Historic Depot. Flower Baskets will beautify Main Street again this summer. Four Main Street Buildings will have a new look out front.

These and many other improvements to Dayton's downtown are completed or in the works, thanks to donations from local businesses through Washington's B&O tax incentive program.

The program allows businesses to receive a credit on their B&O taxes equal to 75% of any donation they make to a qualifying organization, which, in Dayton is the Dayton Development Task Force. The funds must be put to use for projects in the downtown core area.

When the Washington legislature created the program, it put state-wide cap on donation of $1.5 million. And the credits were available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

In 2014, the Task Force received commitments of approximately $64,000 for the 2015 tax year. But as more communities joined the program, statewide commitments in 2015 (for 2016 credits) piled up early. So Dayton got left behind, receiving only one commitment for 2016, for $8,000, before the state-wide cap was reached in May.

Several other businesses who had intended to participate for 2016, but didn't get their commitments in before the cap was reached, agreed to contribute an amount equal to what their 25% would have been after the tax credit was received (see list below). The Task Force received a total of $24,000 in contributions for this year.

Columbia REA has been the major donor to the B&O program, contributing $50,000 for 2015, and $12,500 – the amount they would have spent after the tax credit – for 2016.

Businesses could make commitments for 2017 starting at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1, this year, and Dayton was ready this time.

Jim Cooper, Columbia REA's manager of financial services, woke up early on New Year's Day this year and logged onto the Department of Revenue's website before 7 a.m. to commit the Co-Op's $50,000. Four other businesses also made commitments before Monday morning, Jan. 4. (see list below). The state's cap was reached for 2017 later that day.

Because of the quick action of those businesses, the Task Force is set to receive $67,000 in contributions through the B&O program for 2017.

Dayton Development Task Force president Bette Lou Crothers said that the generosity of those businesses is making a huge impact on Downtown Dayton.

"Our Main Street flowers are so beautiful," she said, "and we will be able to make big progress toward having an outstanding park area near the Caboose and Depot."

Crothers, along with Task Force Members Marcene Hendrickson and Scott Hudson, worked hard in December to convince businesses to get their pledges in early.

B&O Tax Credit Program Donors

2016 2017

Columbia REA* Columbia REA

Puget Sound Energy Puget Sound Energy

Banner Bank* Elk Drug

State Farm* State Farm

Elk Drug* Dayton Mercantile

*Contributed 25% of planned amount after state cap reached

in May 2015


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