Seattle City Council has ‘deep concerns’ with possible ban on big business taxes

Feb 10, 2020, 11:16 AM | Updated: Feb 11, 2020, 5:50 am

homeless, Mosqueda, workers, Amazon, big business, Amazon tax, position 8...

Incumbent Position 8 Seattle Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda. (Matt Pitman)

(Matt Pitman)

Seattle City Council will soon send a letter to the state Legislature, voicing its opposition to the possibility of a ban on all future big business taxes across Washington.

Sawant: Amazon support of state head tax is ‘bottom line political calculus’

The conversation comes as part of a larger proposal moving through Olympia, that would levy a modest tax against businesses in King County with employees who make over $150,000. Companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks have come out in support of the measure, although that support could very well be conditional.

Some theorize that condition would be a preemption making it so no future taxes could be levied against big businesses by any city in Washington state. Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant spoke out against that proposal on Friday, a sentiment that appears to be shared by most — if not all — of her fellow councilmembers.

“There is common ground among us all here,” said District 4 Councilmember Alex Pedersen during a Monday morning meeting. “Preemption would take away options and tools for the city.”

Making that stance official will be a letter drafted by pro-tempore Council President Teresa Mosqueda. It was first distributed to her council colleagues last Thursday, and is expected to be signed by each of them. It will soon be forwarded to state lawmakers in Olympia.

“The city of Seattle has deep concerns with a preemption,” Mosqueda said Monday. “Much like state legislative members, we here in the city have also been elected to serve our constituents, and in order to do so, we need every tool in our toolkit.”

State lawmakers bring Seattle head tax battle to Olympia

As of publishing, preemption has not yet been written into the legislation. That said, the bill’s sponsor Rep. Nicole Macri has intimated to Seattle City Council “that any and all provisions of this legislation are up for conversation.”

Councilmember Sawant will be presenting an official resolution opposing preemption Monday, as well as holding a rally at City Hall “denouncing big business’ push to create their permanent tax shelter.” The rally will take place between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., where people are encouraged to speak out against preemption during the public comment period at Monday’s council meeting.

MyNorthwest News

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

5 hours ago

Image: Boxes of the drug mifepristone sit on a shelf at the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloo...

Associated Press

Unanimous Supreme Court preserves access to widely used abortion medication

The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously preserved access to an abortion medication that was used in nearly two-thirds of U.S. procedures.

6 hours ago

starbucks supreme court...

Associated Press

Supreme Court, siding with Starbucks, makes it harder for NLRB to win court orders in labor disputes

The Supreme Court case began in February 2022, when Starbucks fired seven workers who were trying to unionize their Tennessee store.

7 hours ago

seattle FBI...

Frank Sumrall

SWAT arrests armed woman after she barricades herself inside Seattle FBI building

An armed woman barricaded herself in the visitor lobby of the FBI Seattle building in downtown Seattle Wednesday afternoon.

10 hours ago

windshield hammer...

Frank Sumrall

Customer threats cause Seattle barista to smash customer’s windshield with hammer

A barista in South Seattle used a hammer to bash in a customer’s windshield after he allegedly threatened her and the coffee stand's customers.

10 hours ago

uw president cauce...

Frank Sumrall

UW President Ana Mari Cauce to step down after 10 years

UW President Ana Mari Cauce will step down from leading the university once her second five-year term ends in June 2025.

1 day ago

Seattle City Council has ‘deep concerns’ with possible ban on big business taxes