LOCAL NEWS

Sawant details expansive plan to tax Amazon, other Seattle big businesses

Feb 12, 2020, 10:32 AM | Updated: Feb 13, 2020, 7:04 am

Councilmember Kshama Sawant spoke Wednesday to unveil her proposal to tax Seattle’s biggest businesses.

State lawmakers bring Seattle head tax battle to Olympia

Sawant’s proposed legislation would levy a payroll tax on the top 3 percent of Seattle businesses, raising $300 million a year to fund affordable housing programs and climate change policies.

That would account for a 1.7 percent tax on just over 800 companies in Seattle, excluding nonprofits, small businesses, grocery stores, and all government and educational employers.

“Big business needs to pay its fair share,” Sawant stated, emphasizing that this won’t be another head tax, instead honing in on corporate payroll. “This is the epitome of what a progressive tax means.”

Seventy-five percent of the money raised by the tax would be allocated to housing and social services. That would include the construction of nearly 8,000 new affordable homes in the first 10 years of its implementation, an estimate Sawant billed as “conservative.”

The remaining 25 percent will be put toward converting 47,000 Seattle homes away from natural gas to all-electric power in the same 10-year period.

Addressing concerns that companies like Amazon would be motivated to leave Seattle in the wake of this tax, Sawant pointed to a history of what she views as big business holding the local economy hostage.

The 2020 priorities for a new-look Seattle City Council

“Washington state’s history is a sorry litany of big businesses making threats that if you don’t give them this or that, they will take away jobs,” she said.

She also voiced support for HB-2907, a separate big business tax proposal moving through the state Legislature. That said, she couched that by noting she remains suspicious that Amazon, Microsoft, and other companies are only supporting the measure on the condition that it includes a ban on all future big business taxes.

“We are absolutely supportive of any other proposal brought forward either at the city or county level,” Sawant said. “We stand in solidarity with efforts like 2907 to raise taxes on big businesses. However, we are absolutely opposed to preemption.”

The legislation has yet to be officially drafted, but Sawant plans to present it to Seattle’s City Council by the end of February.

Local News

early primary, kim wyman...
Nick Bowman

Report: Washington Sec. of State Wyman could be leaving role for new job with Biden administration

Sources tell CNN that Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman could be leaving her role for a new job with the Department of Homeland Security.
22 hours ago
vaccine, booster doses...
MyNorthwest Staff

Booster doses of COVID vaccines available in Washington for eligible individuals

Booster doses of all three COVID-19 vaccine types are now available for certain individuals in Washington, and can be safely mixed and matched.
22 hours ago
salmon hatchery...
Dalton Day

Potential ‘irreparable damage’ to Puget Sound orcas over alleged illegal salmon hatchery expansion

Conservationists allege that Fish and Wildlife has expanded salmon hatcheries without lawful compliance under SEPA, thereby damaging native salmon and orca whales.
22 hours ago
seattle relief fund...
Kathryn Altena

Mayor launches Seattle Relief Fund to help families impacted by COVID

Seattle city leaders announced the launch of a new relief fund Monday to help struggling families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
22 hours ago
unemployment...
MyNorthwest Staff

State recovers $495,000 in stolen unemployment benefits with ‘innovative’ legal strategy

For the first time, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has used asset forfeiture to repossess $495,000 in fraudulent unemployment claims.
22 hours ago
Washington Daylight Saving Time...
Nick Bowman

Washington looks for ‘alternative’ paths to end years-long wait for permanent Daylight Saving Time

With the state setting their clocks back again on Nov. 7, Sen. Murray says her office is ramping up work to end the twice-yearly time changes.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
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.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Sawant details expansive plan to tax Amazon, other Seattle big businesses