November 6, 2017
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Seattle looks at $100 per-employee tax to pay for homeless relief, but interim mayor opposes

Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess said he opposes a new business tax that the City Council is considering to fight homelessness. The business head tax would charge $100 a year for each full-time employee for employers with more than $5 million in gross receipts. The tax would raise up to $24 million a year.

Burgess opposes the measure, saying businesses can't afford it and are already paying their fair share.

“Seattle already has the highest business taxes in the state,” the mayor told The Seattle Times. “I don’t engage in anti-business rhetoric. I love jobs.”

Seattle Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said that businesses should be involved in this kind of discussion.

"Without bringing the business community to the table we will be alienating one important group that has been at the table with us and is willing to help us solve the problem,” she said. “Targeting large businesses without their input strikes me as politically joyful for a few, but counterproductive in the long run. We need businesses large and small at the table; we haven’t done that to date.” MyNorthwest has more.

Opportunity Washington also took a look at the issue.

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Manufacturing Week Tour

Manufacturing is huge in Washington. Let's celebrate -- and invest in it

By Kate Lampson and Kris Johnson

Manufacturing has a long history in Washington and it has a great story to tell: In Benton County, careers in manufacturing pay an average annual wage of $55,701, $50,575 in Walla Walla County and almost $41,000 in Franklin County. Not bad for jobs that often require no more than a trade certificate or a two-year degree. It also has a multiplier of three -- for every one job created in manufacturing, another three jobs are created elsewhere.

That's a good return on investment, but the sector faces some headwinds.

As manufacturing comes on a national resurgence, Washington's sector has lost about 48,000 jobs since 2000 -- the vast majority of which are non-aerospace jobs.

Clearly, more can be done to support good-paying manufacturing jobs here and across the state.

Read the full column in The Tri-City Herald
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