In a statement on the Seattle City Council's approval of new public safety investments, Seattle Metro Chamber CEO Maud Daudon said, “A safe city is key to a healthy and vibrant community as well as to our economic competitiveness. The funding plan approved today helps advance this goal by adding police officers, investing in the City of Seattle’s 911 call center, and maintaining new information technology initiatives—all of which help increase capacity for our police force to respond to public safety issues.”
She added, “The Seattle Metro Chamber has long advocated for a larger, well-trained police force that incorporates community policing principles."
The plan raises the money needed for these public safety investments through a combination of existing funding, via cuts and underlying growth in the general fund, as well as new funding from increased taxes and fees on business.The Chamber's support of this plan continues our steadfast backing of local investments that strengthen our economy, advance a vibrant business climate, and promote healthy, sustainable communities.
The new revenue will be raised through a phased-in increase of the city’s Business and Occupation tax rates by 3.2% over two years, and a restructure of the business license fee. One important point about this restructure is that the annual business license fee will remain $110 for Seattle businesses with taxable gross income below $500,000, and $55 for businesses with taxable gross income below $20,000. For larger businesses, the annual fee will range from $480 to $2,000 through 2018. In 2019, these fees will increase slightly, and starting in 2020, all business license fees will be adjusted for inflation.
Daudon closed her statement by saying, “We thank Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council for today’s approval of this funding plan. These additional resources put Seattle in a better position to deliver on the vision articulated by Mayor Murray and Chief Kathleen O’Toole of a police force that is accountable and committed to building trust with each and every community in our city.”