MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle council passes landmark big business tax proposal

Jul 6, 2020, 2:40 PM | Updated: Jul 7, 2020, 8:48 am

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

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

(Matt Pitman)

With a veto-proof 7-2 majority, Seattle City Council approved a bill Monday taxing the city’s biggest businesses.

Sawant: Amazon tax ‘only thing’ that can rescue Seattle economy

The proposal, dubbed “JumpStart Seattle” and sponsored by Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, was first unveiled in mid-June. It will raise over $200 million a year by levying a tax on corporations with payrolls over $7 million. Qualifying businesses will be taxed 0.7% for every employee making over $150,000, and 1.4% for employees making over $500,000.

“We’re in the midst of a public health crisis, and JumpStart is part of the remedy,” Mosqueda said Monday. “… This is a huge win. We, together, are making history.”

The proposal borrows from the city’s emergency and general funds in the near term, and then pays that back when the tax begins to collect money in 2022. In the short term, it would be directed spending toward a handful of COVID-19 relief measures, including rental and business cash assistance programs, and housing and food security.

The council’s budget committee advanced the measure last week with the support of Councilmembers Kshama Sawant, Tammy Morales, Lorena Gonzalez, Dan Strauss, and Andrew Lewis. Councilmembers Alex Pedersen and Debora Juarez were the lone votes against the tax both in committee and in the full council session Monday.

Seattle councilmembers join calls to defund police department

Sawant and Morales proposed their own big business tax earlier in 2020, which would have raised upwards of $500 million a year to put toward COVID-19 relief, affordable housing, and Green New Deal measures. They ultimately both threw their support behind Mosqueda’s tax, but voiced opposition to two amendments added to the legislation Monday: a 20-year sunset clause, and an exemption for nonprofit health care providers.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: Medics respond to a crash in SeaTac on June 21, 2024....

Julia Dallas

3 nearly lose their lives, another injured in SeaTac crash

Five people and two cars were involved in a violent car crash in SeaTac on Friday, the King County Sheriff's Office told KIRO Newsradio.

16 hours ago

Photo: Lacey police are investigating a deadly shooting....

KIRO 7 News Staff

21-year-old arrested in Lacey double murder after police chase

A 21-year-old man led police on a chase following the murder of two people whom he lived with in Lacey.

16 hours ago

Photo: The exterior of the Boeing Company headquarters on March 25, 2024....

James Lynch

Boeing working with DOJ to avoid criminal charges

After allegedly violating the terms of a 2021 deferred prosecution agreement, Boeing is reportedly working to avoid a criminal trial.

19 hours ago

Photo: Yin May suffered severe injuries when she was hit by a driver in Kent....

Julia Dallas

Deputies searching for person who hit, nearly killed woman in Kent

King County deputies are looking for the person who almost killed a woman in Kent in a hit-and-run on Sunday.

20 hours ago

Photo: Snohomish County bus....

Bill Kaczaraba

Attacks against Community Transit drivers reveal potential troubling trend

Community Transit drivers in Snohomish County face a growing threat from violent passengers. Two drivers have been attacked recently.

21 hours ago

Image: A Seattle Police Department vehicle is parked outside Lumen Field in Seattle....

Steve Coogan

Report: Seattle officer fired after previous racist comments surfaced

A Seattle Police Department officer was fired for calling his neighbor racist and sexist slurs and making other comments in 2022.

22 hours ago

Seattle council passes landmark big business tax proposal