Tacoma City Council adopts Mayor’s proposal

Tacoma City Council adopts Mayor’s proposal https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/tacomadome-750x198.jpg

In July, the Tacoma City Council accepted an initiative on minimum wage introduced by Mayor Marilyn Strickland. This comes after the Mayor received recommendations from the stakeholder process she convened in May to develop an alternate option to the $15/hour initiative that will appear on Tacoma’s November ballot.

During the stakeholder process, WRA worked closely with Tacoma area members, and the Chamber, to find options that supported restaurants as much as possible. The final hearing was lengthy and went well into the night. Most were surprised that there was more testimony from local businesses than by $15 Now campaigners or union promoters. In the end, the Council voted down two amendments and opted to support the mayor’s proposal without any changes. In the end the Mayor’s proposal would:

• require employers to pay a minimum hourly wage to employees aged sixteen (16) and over performing work in Tacoma of not less than $10.35 per hour beginning February 2016;
• would increase to $11.15 beginning January 2017;
• would increase again to $12.00 beginning January 2018; and
• thereafter be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The WRA Government Affairs team and local Tacoma restauranteurs have worked tirelessly through this process and succeeded in getting a true alternative. However, the next step in this process includes a very complicated ballot title. Both $15 Now’s proposal and this alternative will be options in November. The WRA is now focusing on education opportunities in the city in order to help voters understand what the ballot initiative will mean to them.