Seattle City Council approves $50 million tax on jobs

Seattle City Council approves $50 million tax on jobs https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/seattle-870282_640.jpg

On Monday, May 14, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to tax jobs at businesses with more than $20 million in annual taxable gross receipts in Seattle. This new revenue will be added to existing city spending on affordable housing and homelessness. The tax, passed in a 9-to-0 vote, will raise $50 million annually through a $275 tax per FTE at businesses above the revenue threshold. The original council proposal was to raise $75 million through a $500/FTE tax. The final legislation includes a sunset clause which will end the tax in 2023.

As the Seattle Hotel Association and Seattle Restaurant Alliance have said from day one, taxing jobs is bad public policy that will ultimately fall heaviest on labor-intensive businesses like hospitality. The tax will hurt the economic vitality of our city and hurt the ability of hospitality businesses to provide low barrier employment and second chance jobs that help people gain skills and financial stability.

Jobs in hospitality are part of the solution to homelessness, and we are disappointed the City Council has chosen to tax these jobs. However, we appreciate Mayor Durkan’s leadership in ensuring that the final legislation includes a sunset date and additional oversight. We will be watching closely to ensure there is accountability and that this additional spending delivers results.

Read the Seattle Hotel Association letter to city councilmembers here

Read the Seattle Restaurant Alliance letter to city councilmembers here

Read the Seattle Hotel Association Op Ed in The Seattle Times here 

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