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Dear Seattle Employer

Freds Rivertown Alehouse
Published:2017-10-13 Column
Dear Seattle Employer    Print Snohomish Times    
Dear Seattle Employer

By Jason Mercier
Oct 13, 2017

As cities across the state and country prepare to submit proposals to try to secure Amazon's new "equal" headquarters, some members of the Seattle City Council have a novel approach to win the bid: A new tax on every Amazon employee. According to the Puget Sound Business Journal:
"Seattle City Council members Mike O'Brien and Kristen Harris-Talley on Thursday proposed a per-employee tax on large Seattle employers to fund services for the city's homeless population.
The tax would start in early 2018 and generate as much as $24 million per year to fund services including 24-hour shelters and long-term housing.
The top 10 percent of the highest-grossing businesses in Seattle, the council members said, would pay 4.8 cents per hour, per employee – or about $100 per employee each year. At that rate, Amazon would pay more than $4 million per year for 40,000 Seattle employees."
When announcing its decision to create a second but equal headquarters outside of Seattle, Amazon said a high priority for the new location will be a “stable and business-friendly environment and tax structure.”
So does Seattle's new proposed per-employee head tax check that box?
As reported by the Seattle Times:
"Both the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Seattle Association agreed homelessness is a major concern, but they strongly disapproved of the business tax.
'We find it really puzzling that they are proposing a new tax on jobs at a time when the city’s economy is thriving, which means the city’s coffers and their budget is bigger than it’s ever been,' said Jon Scholes, CEO of Downtown Seattle Association."
The recently released 2018 Seattle budget proposal highlights this current economic growth:
• “Continued growth in the local economy is providing the revenue needed to sustain existing City services in 2018 and to provide for some expansion in targeted areas.”

• “In general terms, local economic conditions remain strong. Seattle has been the focal point of the region’s growth during the current recovery, and the economic growth in the region has outpaced that of the national economy.”

• “The revised forecasts for General Fund tax revenues for City of Seattle reflect a growth rate of 4.0% relative to 2016, after correcting for the effects of new taxes and increased tax rates. For 2018, the revised forecast predicts a growth of 3.8%.”
One thing the new Seattle budget doesn't rely on, however, is the new illegal income tax that was approved this summer:
• “The income tax recently approved by the City could provide such a source, but this tax is currently subject to a legal challenge that will likely take more than a year to resolve.”
Whether it's an illegal income tax or the new proposed per-employee head tax, Seattle sure has a strange way of facilitating a “stable and business-friendly environment and tax structure.”
To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, Seattle's motto appears to be: "If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, tax it some more."




Published: Monday, January 15, 2018
Five firearm bills go before state lawmakers Five firearm bills go before state lawmakers
Gun regulations draw an overflow crowd to hearing


Published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Search for Snohomish Man Continues Search for Snohomish Man Continues
The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit, as well as detectives from Major Crimes, continue to search for 75 year-old Paul Yoshihara


Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018
Firefighters extinguish early morning fire Firefighters extinguish early morning fire
At 4:00 AM firefighters were dispatched to a report of a house fire at the 20200 block of 45th Drive SE.


Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018
Flu Deaths Reported in Snohomish County Flu Deaths Reported in Snohomish County
Health officials remind public that it’s not too late for flu shots


Published: Tuesday, January 02, 2018
Advisory group to discuss I-405/SR 167 Advisory group to discuss I-405/SR 167
Community members are invited to learn more about on-going and future transportation improvements along the Interstate 405 and State Route 167 corridors.



Traffic Conditions Published: 2018-01-02
Arrest Made in Lynnwood Homicide
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Amtrak update
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Arrest in iPhone theft case
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First Military and Defense Roundtable
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Collective Bargaining Transparency
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