Articles by Guest Contributor


Legislature missed unique opportunity for real tax relief

Despite a mountain of money and bipartisan proposals to ease the state’s tax burden, legislators this year sidestepped their chance to provide Washington families and employers with meaningful, broad-based tax relief. Budget-writers in Olympia had a record budget surplus, providing the perfect opportunity to help ease the burden on employers and taxpayers across the state.…


A St. Patrick’s toast and a challenge from clean, green Ireland

When St. Patrick’s Day rolls around on March 17, the Irish will have lots to celebrate. Ireland is still clean and green. And now, it is spending $15 million to bring visitors back.  Irish tourism officials are targeting the 35 million people living in the U.S. with Irish heritage. They are key to restoring Ireland’s…


Reasons to reconsider the Roth IRA

In the old days, the decision to fund a retirement account with pre-tax dollars (traditional IRA) or fund it with after-tax dollars (Roth IRA) often hinged on when a person predicted his income would be highest and thus the tax savings greatest. So, if a person thought his or her income was high now and…


Hospitality sector facing significant headwinds

As I write this, the state is preparing to roll back Covid-19 mandates: Masks are coming off, spring is in the air, and there’s a sense of a promise to return to (something like) normal. The hospitality industry has been waiting for this moment for two years, and so have the customers we serve. Hospitality…


Visitor spending continues its recovery but will still be below 2019 levels

As we might suspect from our own travel, tourism took a huge hit in 2020. The Benton-Franklin Trends metric on direct travel and tourism spending makes this painfully clear. Total estimated spending in the two counties plunged from about $496 million to $345 million, or a drop of 30%. What has been affected? According to…


State’s long-term care program needs more than a short-term delay

When the Legislature convened the 2022 session in January, lawmakers made long-term care their first order of business. It’s probably not a topic you thought about much until recently, but news that every employee in the state (except for some who were able to opt out – more about that in a moment) would begin…


Family businesses must be nimble to survive bad times

We aren’t too far into 2022, and it is already shaping up to be another challenging year for America’s 5.5 million family businesses dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Rampant inflation, supply chain bottlenecks and acute worker shortages continue. Family businesses are vital to America. According to the Conway Center for Family Business, they account for…


3 new ways for businesses to engage on policy issues

As business owners and workers at businesses throughout the Tri-Cities, you are busy balancing your work and family life while at the same time trying to keep an eye on the issues that impact you. There are so many issues coming out of local governments in Pasco, Kennewick, Richland, West Richland, etc., and, of course,…


Hedging inflation long term: gold vs. stocks?

  There’s no lack of financial press reporting on the effect of inflation on our day-to-day lives. We don’t need to read about it in popular media to feel inflation’s effect each time we fuel up our vehicles, buy groceries for our families, or pay for the variety of goods and services we consume each day. …

plants growing from money

Don’t shortchange your retirement dreams by failing to plan

Tom Black puts out plenty of fires when clients come ready to turn retirement savings into a retirement plan. Overcomplicated investment portfolios. Ill-advised financial packages. Fear. But there’s one problem he can’t solve – missing out on dreams out of fear of running out of money. The eighty-something who never went on that dream safari…

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