Seattle City Council passes $275 employee tax

  • Seattle City Council passes $275 employee tax

Seattle City Council passes $275 employee tax

On Monday, the city voted unanimously "to tax the city's largest employers to help address homelessness", write Daniel Beekman and Matt Day in the Seattle Times, but the unanimous vote did not come without considerable strife. Supporters initially called for employers that earn $20 million or more in revenue to pay $500 per employee per year, or about 26 cents per employee hour worked. The tax would end after five years unless renewed by the city.

Seattle's City Council passed a new tax Monday.

Former CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder on Amazon's "disappointment" over the passing of Seattle's new head tax.

The council reached the decision after a weekend of haggling between council members and Mayor Jenny Durkan, who threatened to veto the originally proposed $500 tax per employee.

The money raised supposedly will help Seattle cope with its homelessness crisis, but in squeezing the tech industry, the progressives on the City Council have forgotten something: If you tax something, you risk getting less of it, and certainly fewer jobs isn't the answer to helping the city's homeless.

Unlike the previous proposal, the final tax plan does not require the head tax to transition to a payroll tax. The city says it will use the new funds to combat homelessness. "While we have resumed construction planning for Block 18, we remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council's hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here". The business community also fought the city on a legally dubious income tax in 2016. It should reexamine existing programs meant to help the homeless and make sure they are working.

"The battle lines on this issue were more starkly drawn than they have been on numerous other progressive issues that the Seattle city council has pushed in recent years", Nelson told TheDCNF, adding the head tax drew opposition from many divergent interests in the city.

John Kelly, the coffee company's senior vice president of Global Public Affairs and Social Impact, thinks in a similar fashion as that of Herdener, and has said the city "continues to spend without reforming and fail without accountability, while ignoring the plight of hundreds of children sleeping outside".

However, Councilmember Kshama Sawant found fault with the amended proposal's inclusion of a five-year sunset clause. The vice president also questioned possible growth with the new tax burden.

He said Seattle "does not have a revenue problem — it has a spending efficiency problem".

"This not just an Amazon tax, this is a tax on these family owned grocers, and stores like..." The lower rate is expected to generate $47 million a year.

Matt Dubin, attorney and candidate for State Representative in the 36 district, said the tax proposal will do little to solve the homelessness problem but would further divide the community. The Seattle region had the third-highest number of homeless people in the USA and saw 169 homeless deaths previous year.