Dear Seattle Metro Chamber Members:

The Seattle City Council has just voted to enact a tax on jobs. We continue to believe that taxing jobs is not the best way to address regional homelessness - and independent polling done by KIRO 7 and Strategies 360 found that a majority of Seattle voters also oppose this tax.

We have been clear from the start about our opposition to this tax. With our partners in the business community and businesses of all sizes, we presented a united front:

Thanks to each of you who stuck to this consistent message and who showed up when it mattered most. Together, we created significant pressure that made a difference.

Two months ago, many thought a permanent $75-150 million tax was a foregone conclusion. What passed today - a $45-50 million tax that sunsets in 5 years - is a bill that will hold Council responsible for producing results. We thank Mayor Durkan for her leadership on this issue in this highly politicized atmosphere, as well as Councilmembers Bagshaw, Johnson, and Juarez and Council President Harrell for raising important questions throughout the process.

Moving forward, the Chamber will continue to advocate for responsible, effective solutions that advance our vision of a region where businesses can flourish, and everyone has the opportunity to succeed and to access a thriving quality of life.

With respect to the regional challenges of homelessness and housing affordability, the next steps are clear. Our elected leaders can make long-lasting, sustained change through two policies that do not require a dime of revenue:

  1. Pass common sense zoning laws that will allow more housing to be built citywide and do not discourage development.
  2. Fix our fragmented regional system for homelessness services.

In closing, I would like to remind our business community that elections matter. We need responsible, accountable leaders on City Council. Looking ahead to 2019, we hope you'll consider donating to our political arm, CASE, and I invite you to contact Jen Berg, our new PAC manager.

Thank you for your partnership throughout this process. I look forward to continuing our work together.

Sincerely,
Marilyn

Marilyn Strickland
President & CEO
Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce