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Seattle Council Votes to Repeal New Head Tax

BY: APA Staff | 06/15/18

On June 12, the Seattle City Council voted 7-2 to repeal the head tax that had been enacted less than one month ago. The employee hours tax would have taken effect in 2019 [Seattle Council Bill No. 119280, L. 2018].

The Seattle head tax would have been effective January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2023. All for-profit companies doing business in Seattle, Washington, that grossed more than $20 million per year in the city would have had to pay an employee hours tax of $275 per employee, per year.

After the City Council’s vote, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a statement that she intends to sign the repeal bill into law in order to avoid a “prolonged, expensive political fight” [Office of the Mayor, Mayor Durkan, Statement, 6-12-18].

Signatures were being gathered to repeal the head tax via a voter referendum. The city would have had to pay additional costs for having the referendum on the November 2018 ballot. The city avoids these costs by repealing the legislation without the referendum.

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