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Mayor Durkan Statement on Repeal of Business Tax

Seattle (June 12) – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan issued the following statement after City Council’s vote to repeal the proposed tax on large businesses, which she will sign into law:

“Everyone in this city shares similar goals – we need to build more affordable housing, provide mental health and behavioral health services, and bring people off the streets and into safer spaces while continuing to support our small businesses, jobs, and economy. We have been hard at work on these challenges and will continue our efforts. To be successful, everyone needs to be part of the solution. Instead of engaging in a prolonged, expensive political fight, the City and I will continue to move forward on building real partnerships that align our strategies from businesses, advocates, philanthropy.

“For months, I’ve been working to build new and real partnerships to create a coordinated regional plan on how we address the crisis with the county and other Mayors. This includes signing an agreement with King County to increase collaboration of homelessness services and set a path for governance reforms to better coordinate investments region-wide.

“In addition, people deserve to know how their money is being spent and what is working. The City has worked towards increased accountability and transparency with taxpayer dollars expected to be spent in direct response to the homelessness crisis. 

“We continue to build more affordable housing. In December, we announced $300 million of new affordable housing and the City of Seattle expects 2,500 new City-funded affordable rental homes and more than 1,900 new MFTE affordable homes to come online by the end of 2021. This year, the City of Seattle will commit another significant investment, which is expected to yield more than $200 million in new affordable housing.  

“Our work to address this crisis will continue – tomorrow, the Council will begin consideration of my legislation to bring 500 people off the streets and into safer spaces, and in the upcoming weeks, we will work together to make Seattle more affordable and equitable for all.”