These Are All the 2017 Tax Proposals in Seattle

October 13, 2017

Many states have an east versus west or urban versus rural divide on policy issues. In Washington state, it’s more like Seattle versus the entire 71,000 square miles of the rest of the state, and nowhere is this difference more pronounced than in the tax policy arena.

In 2017, this is showcased in just the sheer number of new tax proposals coming out of the Seattle city council and from mayoral candidates. Here are the proposals we’ve seen gain traction so far (proposals that already passed are noted):

The state of Washington has a tax system with many admirable features, especially its lack of an income tax, but this deluge of city proposals is likely to make prospective businesses wary. In the case of Amazon, which is already headquartered in Seattle, company leaders are seeking an expansion elsewhere. Depending on how many of these taxes are advanced, businesses might be better off in another state—or maybe just across the lake in Bellevue.

Erratum: an earlier version of this blog post stated the proposed head tax’s rate at 8 cents per hour.

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