New payroll tax plan clears hurdle

SEATTLE — Seattle’s Council Budget Committee approved a plan to tax the biggest businesses with the highest earners, which would raise more than $200 million annually for services such as affordable housing, help for small businesses, and other services.

>>City council considering new payroll tax plan

A vote on the proposal is expected Monday by the full council.

Businesses with Seattle payrolls of at least $7 million would pay a tax on annual salaries of at least $150,000.

The tax rate would go up when companies pay workers more than $500,000, or for companies with Seattle payrolls greater than $1 billion.

City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda unveiled the plan she called, “Jump Start Seattle” last month.

“We can jump start our economy and do it in an equitable and inclusive way,” Mosqueda said.

Mosqueda insisted that she was not targeting Amazon.

“This is not about one company,” she said. “This is not about one targeted effort, this is about a universal approach to really invest in our local economy.”

This all comes just two years after the council passed, and then repealed a big business tax that would have raised only about $47 million a year.