DAVE ROSS

Chamber CEO: Head tax will push Seattle businesses out

Mar 28, 2018, 8:54 AM | Updated: 12:52 pm
head tax, climate change, Seattle business, Mayor Murray, liberal Seattle, almost live...
The head tax proposed by a task force may push more businesses out of the city, Seattle Chamber of Commerce CEO Marilyn Strickland warns. (City of Seattle image)
(City of Seattle image)

The cost of doing business in Seattle may soon become too high.

RELATED: Hard times for Hardwick’s

That’s according to Seattle Chamber of Commerce CEO Marilyn Strickland. She’s opposed to the head tax proposed by the Progressive Revenue Taskforce on Housing and Homelessness because there’s no specific plan on how the money will be used.

The chamber represents more than 2,000 businesses in four counties.

Strickland says all businesses would be taxed — contradicting what Councilmember Kshama Sawant previously said.

“My understanding from the proposal received by the Progressive Revenue Taskforce on Housing and Homelessness is that they want to tax all businesses. They talked about having a tax on every single business so that people would put quote ‘skin in the game.'”

The proposed tax would, according to the task force, raise $150 million annually.

Strickland, the former Mayor of Tacoma, says Seattle should not have to solve the homeless and affordability crisis alone. It’s a region issue, she says.

Strickland calls the head tax a job tax. For every person who is employed, the task force wants a formula where a tax is imposed based on the number of employees and gross revenue.

More than 300 of Seattle’s small businesses signed a letter urging the council to at least include them in the process.

“We have supported schools, we’ve supported parks, we’ve supported roads, we’ve supported Sound Transit 3. But, in this case, there seems to be a default position of we have a situation with homelessness, let’s tax businesses to pay for it.

RELATED: Seattle business owner faces $550,000 in fines

“The challenge here is there is no plan. There’s nothing talking about the type of housing, where they would site it, if the zoning even exists, and what it would cost per unit to build the housing.”

Strickland says the business owners she represents talk about the fact that every time they turn around, it feels like a new tax or fee is being levied on businesses in Seattle.

“At some point, there will be a reaction to that. People are saying the cost of doing business is too high and prohibitive.”

She says before the city imposes another tax, there should be a discussion about a plan as well as the money already being spent to address homelessness.

RELATED: Councilmember Sawant says to ignore business “blackmail” over head tax

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

election...
Dave Ross

Ross: Another year without any major election fraud issues in sight

We’re three weeks past the election - and, based on what I’m reading, there’s no indication of any organized attempt to change or steal votes
1 day ago
Thanksgiving dinner...
Dave Ross

Ross: How to keep your Thanksgiving peaceful this year

I know Americans define Thanksgiving as a holiday to remind us all why we moved away from our relatives. But it doesn't have to be that way.
6 days ago
pilot...
Dave Ross

Ross: Could planes only have one pilot someday?

Just one pilot in the cockpit. That would free up more pilots to compensate for crew shortages, and of course, save money.
6 days ago
holiday...
Dave Ross

Ross: Want to solve holiday travel? Just live closer to your family

The answer to solving holiday travel is always the same – the best time to fly is when nobody else is flying.
7 days ago
young voters...
Dave Ross

Ross: Young voters are key to Democrat wins, if they can get a high turnout

It said that young voters “delivered on President Joe Biden’s hopes they would turn out in the mid-terms,” and that voters under 30 were key.
8 days ago
Seattle roadside graffiti...
Dave Ross

Ross: Graffiti along the ‘gateway to Seattle’ is embarrassing

Time to put this graffiti out of its misery. Painting it over doesn't work. So, I'll say it again: put up artificial vegetation.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Chamber CEO: Head tax will push Seattle businesses out