The Seattle City Council wants to establish a tax on jobs to raise another $75 million to spend on its response to homelessness, and it is moving forward quickly to develop and pass a proposal.

Legislation introduced in April would establish a tax on jobs to raise $75 million per year to address homelessness. Here are key details:

  • Businesses with $20 million or more in annual taxable gross receipts in Seattle would be subject to the tax.
  • In 2019 and 2020, businesses subject to the tax would pay $500/year/FTE (or $0.26/hour/employee).
  • In 2021, the tax shifts to a payroll tax, which would be 0.7 percent of payroll on businesses with more than $20 million in annual revenue for work done in Seattle

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Hospitality businesses and their employees will be especially hard hit by a tax on jobs.

Restaurants and hotels are proud to be able to provide a wide range of jobs from management and sales positions to low-barrier, entry-level jobs that offer hard-to-come-by opportunity to people with limited skills or education and to those who need a second chance in life. We invest in training, we promote from our own ranks and a first job in hospitality can turn into a rewarding, life-long career.

The jobs we provide are part of the solution to homelessness, and our government affairs team in Seattle has been working with members to education councilmembers on how taxing these jobs will hurt our ability to provide second chances and low-barrier employment opportunities that can lead to lifelong careers.



The Finance & Neighborhoods Committee is meeting to discuss and vote on the legislation at 9:30 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. on Wed., May 9, at City Hall. Seattle members are encouraged to attend. If you are able to attend, please let us know by emailing . Public comment will be taken at the morning meeting.

The full council is expected to vote on the legislation on Mon., May 14.

We have set up a quick letter-writing tool to help Seattle members urge councilmembers and the mayor to oppose this ill-conceived tax plan.  Click here for the restaurateur letter-writing toolClick here for the hotelier letter-writing tool.