TOM AND CURLEY

Will the proposed King County head tax hurt the local economy?

Jan 31, 2020, 4:48 PM | Updated: 5:41 pm
head tax...
(Mike Lewis, KIRO Radio)
(Mike Lewis, KIRO Radio)

The infamous head tax from 2018 appears to be making a comeback. On Wednesday, Washington lawmakers introduced a bill that would give King County the power levy a tax on big businesses with highly paid employees, specifically with those earning upwards of $150,000 a year.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Nicole Macri, a Democrat who represents the Seattle area, and features 11 other co-sponsors. It would impose a tax on large businesses with employees making at least $150,000 a year, in counties with a population over 2 million. That would limit it solely to King County.

King County Councilmember Dunn: County head tax will hurt the poor

Money raised from the tax would go toward homelessness, affordable housing, and behavioral health services, with the potential to add as much as $121 million in revenue.

“So we’d remove $121 million from the the economy, and you would give it to the city of Seattle or in King County, and they would then take it. If you had it in dollar bills, it would weigh one metric ton. It would take — depending on the heat of the fire — anywhere between 20 minutes or 45 minutes to burn up $121 million,” joked KIRO Radio’s John Curley.

“Because you’re basically taking the money out of the economy where it could be purchased and moved for services and goods, and giving it to King County and Seattle, where they would just piss it away.”

The 2020 priorities for a new-look Seattle City Council

Certain groups would be exempt, including businesses with under 50 employees, cancer centers, and local governments. It currently has the support of Seattle-based Expedia, but many other companies have not commented as of yet. Seattle’s 2018 per-employee tax of large businesses — expected to raise approximately $47 million per year — was quickly repealed. Councilmember Kshama Sawant recently launched a “Tax Amazon” campaign in an effort to move it forward again.

Listen to the Tom and Curley Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Tom and Curley on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 3pm for The Tom and Curley Show.

Tom and Curley Show

Tom and Curley

squirrel...
Tom and Curley Show

Tom & Curley Show interrupted by a squirrel

In the middle of reading letters from listeners on Monday, John Curley was interrupted by his dogs bringing a squirrel inside his cabin.
13 days ago
Jay Inslee, pause, reopening, vaccine order...
Tom and Curley Show

Not much point in suing over Inslee’s vaccine order, says former state Attorney General

The vaccine order from Gov. Inslee for state workers stands on pretty firm legal ground, according to former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna.
2 months ago
Seattle crime...
Tom and Curley Show

Should Seattle council shoulder the blame for city’s ‘violent crime spike’?

The Tom & Curley Show discusses a recent column from Seattle Times' Danny Westneat titled: "How the City Council left Seattle in a no man's land on crime."
2 months ago
cell phone video...
Tom and Curley Show

Tom & Curley: Mistaken identity story out of Edmonds has an added twist

Tom and John discuss the case of mistaken identity from a viral video out of Edmonds that led to death threats, but there's another part of the story.
2 months ago
Metro...
Tom and Curley Show

What will it take for you to return to King County Metro post-pandemic?

As vaccinations against COVID-19 are on the rise, how would you feel about commuting to work on a Metro bus again? Tom & Curley weigh in.
5 months ago
vaccine, seattle covid...
Tom and Curley Show

Poll: Seattle metro area most eager in country to get the COVID vaccine

A new poll finds that the Seattle area -- including Snohomish, King, and Pierce counties -- tops the U.S. for willingness to get a COVID vaccine.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...
By Alaska Airlines

Calling all football fans: follow Russell on the road

Take your Northwest spirit that we’re known for on the road this season with Alaska Airlines.
...
By Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
Will the proposed King County head tax hurt the local economy?