Even as local businesses organize to repeal Seattle’s controversial jobs tax, the city’s neighbors see an economic development opportunity. Today in Pierce County, officials will announce a plans for a new $275 per head tax incentive. KIRO 7 reports,
A collaboration of South Sound elected officials and business leaders are expected to unveil a $275 incentive for new family-wage jobs created in Pierce County Tuesday.
“Pierce County plans to create new, family-wage jobs by showcasing a $275 employee tax credit that will be available across the county. Each jurisdiction will determine exactly how the credit will be applied,” Piece County said in a news release.
Already, Tacoma’s economic development efforts appear to have received a boost, The News Tribune reports.
Bruce Kendall said Monday his phone at the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County has been ringing steadily since last week’s vote by the Seattle City Council to tax big businesses $275 per employee.
“I’ve received inquiries over the last week from companies that have indicated they are exploring options for locations in Pierce County,” Kendall said. “And they are telling me that’s why they are calling me, because the head tax passed.”
The story has more on the incentive expected to be announced today.
The credit would apply only to new jobs paying $65,000 per year or more, said Libby Catalinich, a spokeswoman for Pierce County.
Each city and the county would implement it differently, Kendall said. Cities that have a business-and-occupation tax could give qualifying businesses a $275 credit against their tax bill, he said.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce even has a video taking aim at the Seattle head tax.
While the South Sound is actively recruiting, East King County may also see some immediate economic benefit. Geek Wire reports a Seattle start-up is considering plans to move to Bellevue.
Seattle-based sales automation startup Outreach announced a new $65 million funding round Monday — but its CEO, Manny Medina, also had another issue on his mind when GeekWire caught up with him: Seattle’s new head tax, which will levy Outreach and other companies making more than $20 million in annual revenue in Seattle about $275 for each full-time employee in the city.
“When the city turns around and creates a tax, all of a sudden we feel like a punch in the gut because all of a sudden we have to pay for growth,” he said. “If we do well, we pay. It seems like it’s not enough to provide jobs and to be a center of excellence in technology. Now we have to also pay for excellence.”
Medina said Outreach is “strongly considering” opening an office in nearby Bellevue, Wash., in response to the head tax.
As they say, developing.