On Oct. 25 the Snohomish County Council voted unanimously to pass a new cash ordinance for unincorporated Snohomish County. On Jan.1, 2025 all businesses will be required to accept cash payments of up to $200 if operating in unincorporated Snohomish County. The Washington Hospitality Association worked very closely with council members and primarily the sponsor, Councilmember Nate Nehring, to ensure that this ordinance reflected the needs of our members. Specifically, we were able to secure the following amendments:

1. Businesses can file for exemptions to this ordinance if it is an undue hardship. For example, if an establishment has a record of public safety issues or if only one employee is on site at a time. These exemptions can be filed throughout the next year and after Jan. 1, 2025. Once information is available on how to file, we will forward that to you.

2. This measure will be enforced as code enforcement as opposed to through a civil enforcement process. This means that should a business violate this new ordinance they will receive education, reminders and urging to comply twice before any penalty is enforced. We were able to keep this enforcement out of the court process.

3. Lodging is specifically exempted from this measure. We expressed the need to keep lodging out of this ordinance to make sure that we comply with human trafficking concerns and measures.

Councilmembers welcome further input over the next year before this ordinance becomes law. They have all expressed an interest in learning more about how this measure would impact local business and are open to further amendments should they be needed. We will continue to work with them as this measure goes into effect.

If you have further questions, please contact Local Government Affairs team member Brooke Davis at .