Kshama Sawant rallies support for head tax relaunch

Jan 13, 2020, 6:47 PM

Sawant, second head tax...

Kshama Sawant held a rally Monday night for her new head tax. (KIRO Radio, Hanna Scott)

(KIRO Radio, Hanna Scott)

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant rallied her supporters Monday night in support of a new head tax, not entirely different from her 2018 attempt. Except this time, she wants to raise more money.

Sawant wants to tax Seattle businesses in the range of $200-$500 million a year (with no sunset). In 2018, she was calling for $150 million to tax some of the city’s biggest businesses to create affordable housing.

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.

The flyer Monday night stated that this is “not a tax on jobs. It’s a tax on big corporations, meaning on the multi-millions and billionaires.”

The Seattle City Council approved a head tax on the city’s largest companies on May 14, 2018.

The City of Seattle wanted to increase funding for homelessness services and programs for affordable housing. Council members argue that the city needed more funding to do this. The original proposal claimed that the head tax would raise $75 million annually to put towards building affordable housing and homeless services. It was later changed to $50 million.

Many large Seattle companies opposed the tax proposal. Some unions also opposed it while the council was debating the legislation.

The council repealed a head tax on June 12, 2018, less than a month later.

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Kshama Sawant rallies support for head tax relaunch