Bill in Legislature would tax King County businesses to address homelessness

Feb 5, 2020
Written by wpengine

A bill introduced in the Legislature would allow King County to place an excise tax on large businesses with employees who make at least $150,000 a year.

The money raised, estimated at $121 million a year, would be spent on affordable housing, public safety needs, homeless services and behavioral health services, according to media reports. The bill is Senate Bill 2907. It is scheduled for hearings in the House Committee on Finance this week.

The Legislature first would have to pass the bill before sending it to King County for possible adoption. Meanwhile, Seattle city councilwoman Kshama Sawant has talked this year about making a new attempt to impose a so-called city head tax based upon the number of employees a company has. Due to resistance from the business community, the council repealed such a tax it approved in 2019.

This year, there is talk of proposing the tax again as a city ballot measure.

Read more here and here.

Sources: Washington Research County, Seattle Times