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Spokane councilmember urges Seattle businesses to move after tax bill

Spokane (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios)

Seattle City Council just approved a payroll tax on big and medium sized businesses, and now a few city leaders from places across the state like Spokane have a simple message: Leave Seattle and come elsewhere, preferably to where they actually represent.

Spokane Councilman Michael Cathcart is urging Seattle businesses to move, and joined the Jason Rantz Show to discuss. What’s his take on the bill?

“I think it’s absolutely crazy, especially at a time when almost just about everybody is struggling because of the economic shutdown the state ensued. It just makes no sense that you would decide to tax all of these businesses and potentially put jobs at risk. I think that’s backwards,” he said.

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“The thing about Spokane that maybe not a lot of people recognize is the fact that we actually have taxpayer protections that are written right into our city charter … I think it puts us in a really competitive position for a lot of these companies to look to our side of the state as a place to either move to or redirect their growth.”

As Jason suggested, it feels like Seattle as a brand is not what it once was when businesses are looking to recruit, and that businesses in the general area could make the pitch just as well.

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“I really think so,” Cathcart agreed. “We’re a great community. We’ve got excellent transportation access points for rail, freight, air. We have a lot of develop-able land for industrial or commercial. We have fewer regulations and taxes than some of the major cities. And so I think we’re a place that folks should absolutely be looking to invest in and move their businesses in light of this crazy taxation going on.”

How generally do the people in Spokane view Seattle these days?

“Obviously, you’re gonna have a lot of differing opinions, but as someone who’s been to Seattle a lot and had to travel across the state quite a bit, I think, first and foremost, about the traffic and you think about just how poor the transportation system is over there,” he said.

“When people look to Seattle and they see things like CHOP, and they see things like these massive tax increases right in the middle of an economic shutdown, I think people just kind of scratch their head and wonder what the logic is going on over there.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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