Pierce County wage credits questioned after Seattle kills head tax

VIDEO: Pierce County Council to vote on family-wage jobs credit program

The credit program that was proposed to entice more businesses to either move or start in Pierce County was questioned after Seattle repealed its controversial head tax.

Though no funds have been allocated for the Family Wage Jobs Credit Program, the Pierce County's Rules and Operations Committee was the amount the county could spend is in the ballpark of $220,000.

Pierce County Councilmember Pam Roach questioned if that was really an appropriate use of funds, saying “$220,000, or at least one-and-a-half police officers.”

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Given the “needs of Pierce County,” Roach said the county should rethink the proposed wage credit. That proposal would provide businesses that create five or more new family-wage jobs annual tax credits of $275 per employee. The proposal was a reaction to Seattle’s now-defunct head tax, which would have taxed hundreds of businesses $275 per year, per employee. The Seattle City Council repealed the head tax just one month after unanimously approving it.

Roach points out the proposal was a direct reaction to what Seattle was doing. It would not have been proposed had Seattle not enacted a head tax. Roach says she doesn’t see the purpose any more.

According to the Pierce County Council's website, the full council will consider the ordinance Tuesday, July 17.

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