Research Services

The Research Services Section includes several municipal research programs as well as 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 team members are exceptionally resourceful problem solvers who possess broad policy bandwidths and functional skill sets.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Municipal Research and Services Center offers practical information on a wide range of topics of importance to local governments. The Department of Commerce provides state funding to the MRSC under RCW 43.110. Research Services manages the contract.