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Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan Statement on New Business Tax

Seattle (May 14) – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan issued the following statement responding to today’s City Council 9-0 vote on a proposed tax on large businesses:

“Seattle’s unprecedented growth has come with significant challenges. From the beginning of this important debate, my priority was to find the right balance of meaningful progress on our affordability and homelessness crisis while protecting good, family-wage jobs. I heard from thousands of constituents, hundreds of businesses of all sizes, dozens of unions, and advocates, and we all shared the same goals: maintain a strong economy, help the thousands of people experiencing homelessness, and make Seattle affordable for residents, artists, and businesses of all sizes.

“Over these past few weeks, we saw what happens when we come together, sit down together, and work together – we can find common ground and get things done. And have no doubt – it was not easy. This was a tough debate in our City. There are a lot of strong passions and genuine policy differences between friends, neighbors, businesses, unions, and Councilmembers. But we have to find ways to come together to take action on our toughest problems.

“I am grateful for all the Seattle residents who took the time to make their voices heard on this important issue because they care so much about the future of this City we all love.

“This legislation will help us address our homelessness crisis without jeopardizing critical jobs. Because this ordinance represents a true shared solution, and because it lifts up those who have been left behind while also ensuring accountability and transparency, I plan to sign this legislation into law.

“Looking ahead, I will be taking urgent action to move people off our streets and into safer places and to clean up garbage, needles and waste from our parks and communities. At the same time, I want to create more accountability and transparency with taxpayer dollars. We will also continue to work towards a regional solution to homelessness because Seattle cannot go it alone.

“I believe in my bones that our City will continue to be the place that invents the future, and continue to be the most exciting and innovative city anywhere. Seattle can continue to innovate, invent, and grow – and we can continue to come together to build a more affordable, inclusive, and just future for all who call this great City home.”