In a surprise move, City Council delays Seattle Jobs Tax proposal

Citing a previously undiscussed restriction of Washington’s Stay at Home order, the Seattle City Council has stopped consideration of the recently resurrected large employer business tax. Read our previous story on the large employer business tax

According to published reports, Seattle City Council President M. Lorena Gonzalez has determined that further consideration of the business tax violates Washington’s Open Public Meetings Act. The Council’s budget committee had been holding “virtual” meetings on the proposal to impose a new tax on over 800 of Seattle’s largest businesses. A proclamation by the Governor related to the Stay at Home order states that public entities may only use remote means to consider routine matters or those related to the current public health emergency.

Seattle King County REALTORS®, in unison with the Seattle business community, opposes the tax and has urged members to contact the council to stop the proposal. Before Gonzalez’s recent announcement, the business community had organized on-line petition and letter writing opposition from nearly 15,000 citizens according to the Downtown Seattle Association.

It is unclear if and when the Seattle Council may reconsider the new tax once the Stay at Home order allows open public meetings.

“The Seattle Council has twice tried to pass a tax on business that penalizes employers,” said Lynn Sanborn, President-elect of Seattle King County REALTORS®. “We will be ready if they try a third time. It makes no sense to pursue such measures when all of us should be focusing on economic recovery.”