Research Services: We Develop Ideas, Programs... and People
Research services is a cluster of municipal research programs that also includes a contracted services arm. The latter operates with ad hoc, cross-functional teams that are skilled in tackling unusual and challenging research and program development assignments. Our staff members are exceptionally resourceful problem solvers who possess one of the broadest policy bandwidths and functional skill sets of any research shop in Washington state government. We function as an incubator that draws upon the power of analytics to solve problems in new ways.
Follow the Money at the Bond Users Clearinghouse
This is your one-stop source of information about public debt within Washington State. We collect and analyze data on debt issuances and produce an annual report on local general-obligation bond indebtedness.
Local Government Fiscal Note Program
Policymakers make better decisions when they have all of the facts. That’s why the Local Government Fiscal Note Program was created 38 years ago.
We provide the Legislature with objective estimates of the financial impacts of proposed legislation on counties, cities, and most special purpose districts. Our experienced team of analysts researches almost any bill or initiative that could change local government revenues or expenditures.
Where Public Facilities Go for an Independent Feasibility Review
We manage the process for conducting independent financial feasibility reviews of proposed projects by public facilities districts. The Department of Commerce’s role is not to approve or reject a public facilities district’s plan.
Look into Bond Cap
Your Public-Private Partnership May be Eligible for Tax-Exempt Bonds
We authorize the issuance of tax-exempt private activity bonds. These can be a valuable funding option for some public-private partnerships. Our staff review proposed projects to ensure compliance with federal and state law.
The Research and Program Development Support You Need — When You Need It
We provide the Washington State Department of Commerce as well as other state and local agencies with a just-in-time source of policy research, grant writing, and program evaluation expertise.
Over the last decade we have completed more than 100 projects, which have ranged from quick number-crunching exercises to the management of all aspects of six-figure legislative studies.