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Let the City Know How You Feel About Proposed Tax on Businesses

 

Proposed Employee Hours Tax (EHT) would go into effect on January 1, 2019, and apply to Seattle businesses earning more than $20 million a year in Seattle-based gross receipts (less than 3% of businesses)

 

Dear Queen Anne Chamber Members and other Business Leaders,

Please take a few minutes to take an online survey, sponsored by the Seattle City Council, about the proposed Employee Hours/Payroll Tax. Your feedback will help the Council understand the business community’s issues and concerns related to this progressive tax on large businesses to help address homelessness and housing affordability. Here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CityofSeattleBiz

BACKGROUND ON PROPOSAL

On April 20, Councilmembers Lorena Gonzales, Lisa Herbold, Teresa Mosqueda and Mike O’Brien released legislation which includes an ordinance to implement the tax and a spending resolution, which contains a five-year spending plan, an outline of homelessness services performance standards, and details on the plan’s affordable housing goals.

EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2019

The proposed Employee Hours Tax (EHT) would go into effect on January 1, 2019 and apply to Seattle businesses earning more than $20 million a year in Seattle-based gross receipts (less than 3% of businesses). These businesses would pay $500 per employee per year or about $0.26 per employee hour. Beginning in 2021, the EHT would be phased out and replaced with a Payroll Tax with a rate of .7% of total Seattle-based payroll.

THE SPENDING PLAN OUTLINED

The spending plan outlines that 75% of the revenue would be spent on affordable housing; 20% on emergency, shelter and hygiene services; and 5% would funds the costs associated with administering the tax. Among other investments in the proposal, this revenue would allow the City to fund 1,780 new affordable housing units over the next five years, expand criminal justice diversion programs, maintain an additional 362 shelter beds a year and remove 100,000 pounds of garbage from our streets each year. Combined with the work already being accomplished by affordable housing developers and homelessness service providers with City support, this plan will help us to turn the tide against the growing homelessness crisis.

LEARN MORE ON IMPACT TO YOUR BUSINESS

Learn more about the City Council's proposed legislation and its schedule for committee deliberation. If you have any questions about the survey or the legislative proposal, contact the Office of Councilmember Gonzalez at 206-684-8802 or the Office of Councilmember Herbold at 206-684-8803.

 
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