Sawant renews push for Seattle head tax in 2020

Jan 6, 2020, 1:21 PM

seattle head tax...

Groups for and against Seattle's head tax rally at Seattle City Hall May 9, 2018. (Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)

(Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)

As 2020 opens, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant is already hinting at the possibility of revisiting a large business levy akin to 2018’s controversial head tax.

The 2020 priorities for a new-look Seattle City Council

Sawant outlined broad strokes of her proposal to pursue some sort of levy on larger local businesses in a late-December op-ed for CounterPunch. In it, she detailed plans for a rally at Washington Hall on Jan. 13.

The “Tax Amazon 2020 Kickoff” will double as Sawant’s swearing-in for the new council session, where she hopes to officially launch her movement.

“At that event, we will be re-launching Tax Amazon as a grassroots organization to fight for a strong tax on Seattle’s biggest businesses to fund social housing,” she penned on CounterPunch.

Through all this, Sawant is looking to ride the momentum from a hotly-contested Seattle council campaign, that saw Amazon contribute over $1.4 million to the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE), the political arm of the city’s Chamber of Commerce.

Just two out of seven CASE-endorsed candidates won their respective races, a fact Sawant labels as a directive to pursue her proposal.

“Our reelection, but also the overall City Council results, were as close of a referendum on the Amazon tax as possible,” said Sawant, shortly after she was reelected.

That sentiment has been echoed in the mayor’s office as well.

Seattle head tax 101

“I think there’s a strong likelihood there will be a progressive business tax in 2020,” Mayor Jenny Durkan told The Seattle Times, going on to note that it would largely depend on whether it’s done at the city, county, or even state level.

“We have to look at a range of options,” she clarified.

Over 800 people have responded on Facebook as “interested” in Sawant’s Jan. 13 rally, with over 260 marked as “going.”

MyNorthwest News

Image: A Renton Police Department vehicle...

Julia Dallas

Teen turns himself in after deadly Renton shooting

Renton police were sent to reports of a shooting after a 16-year-old man called in saying he shot someone.

7 hours ago

Photo: Israeli Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran, in cent...

Tia Goldenberg and Josef Federman, The Associated Press

Israel is quiet on next steps against Iran — and on which partners helped shoot down missiles

On Sunday, Israel's leaders credited an international military coalition with helping thwart a direct attack from Iran.

9 hours ago

Photo: The Gorge Amphitheater campgrounds....

Julia Dallas

Families of Gorge shooting victims suing festival organizers

A lawsuit against Live Nation alleges the entertainment company did not enforce measures to prevent the Gorge shooting.

12 hours ago

Camas, Washington. (Photo:

Bill Kaczaraba

From mill town to top-ranked living destination: Washington city stands out

Once a mill town, Camas, Washington, has earned accolades as one of the premier places to reside in the United States.

14 hours ago

Photo: At 6:39 a.m., Eastside Fire crews extinguished most of the fire at a Snoqualmie business....

Julia Dallas

Crews put out fire that engulfs Snoqualmie business

The flames took over a business in the 8100 block of Railroad Avenue Southeast in Snoqualmie Sunday morning.

16 hours ago

Costco vs. Boeing...

Bill Kaczaraba

A study in contrasts: Costco vs. Boeing

In the state of Washington, two corporate giants stand out: Costco and Boeing. A recent poll conducted by Portland-based DMH Research sheds light on how we perceive these companies and other major players like Amazon, Starbucks, and Microsoft. The study, obtained by MyNorthwest, polled 500 adults across the region. The poll measured residents’ “perceptions of […]

1 day ago

Sawant renews push for Seattle head tax in 2020