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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Seattle ‘head tax’ proposal advances to vote Monday

The Space Needle  is seen in downtown Seattle. (Ellen M. Banner / TNS)
Associated Press

SEATTLE – A proposal to tax large businesses in Seattle to pay for housing and homeless services has cleared a council committee and now heads to the council for a vote Monday.

The proposal remained largely unchanged Friday after the council rejected several amendments that would have lowered the tax rate or made other major changes.

One amendment backed by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan would have cut the tax rate in half, to roughly $250 per full-time worker a year. But the council narrowly rejected that smaller tax proposal.

Under the proposal that advanced out of committee, nearly 600 large employers such as Amazon making at least $20 million in gross revenue would pay about $500 a year per full-time worker. The tax would raise about $75 million annually and switch to a payroll tax in two years.

The measure needs five votes to pass the council, and six votes to override a veto by the mayor.