Seattle Proposes New Tax to Raise Money for Affordable Housing

The Seattle City Council has released draft legislation for a new tax on large employers that would raise $75 million to address homelessness. The legislation would create a tax of 26 cents per Seattle employee-hour that would be imposed on companies that gross at least $20 million per year. The city would be required to spend 75 percent of the tax revenue to build low-income housing, 20 percent on homeless shelters and services, and 5 percent on administrative costs. There are currently about 500 eligible companies in the city, which represents about 3 percent of all businesses, and the new tax is expected to create 1,780 affordable units over five years. The bill could be voted on next month.

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