Councilmember M. Lorena González
Councilmember Lisa Herbold
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEATTLE – Following Council’s budget deliberations in November 2017, Council committed to convene an ad hoc Progressive Revenue Task Force (PRT) to identify and recommend progressive revenue options that can be dedicated toward addressing Seattle’s homelessness and affordability crisis.
Today, the Council is announcing that Councilmembers Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle & South Park) and M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide) will co-chair the Progressive Revenue Task Force, along with community co-chairs: Progress Alliance of Washington Program Director and former Councilmember Kirsten Harris-Talley and Homesight Executive Director Tony To.
“Until Washington State comprehensively restructures our regressive tax system, we need to identify any progressive tax options we can,” said Councilmember Herbold. “During this year’s budget deliberations I recommended a per-employee tax on businesses grossing more than $10 million per year, but I’m very receptive to hearing alternative recommendations, provided the funding source isn’t built upon the backs of those least able to afford it.”
“I’m thankful to the task force members who are each committed to working with the City Council and stakeholders to develop progressive revenue solutions and spending strategies to address a homelessness crisis affecting thousands of people every day,” said Councilmember González. “As levels of homelessness continue to worsen in cities across the West coast, we must deploy bold actions that will meet the reality of the needs in our City. This task force will recommend deliberative actions yet act quickly and thoughtfully about the impacts of any new progressive tax on small businesses and the most tax-burdened people, including seniors and other low-income individuals. The Council looks forward to receiving this esteemed group’s recommendations.”
The task force members represent people with lived experience of homelessness, representatives from business, labor, housing, subject matter representatives and service providing agencies.
Progressive Revenue Task Force Members:
- Councilmember M. Lorena González, Co-Chair
- Councilmember Lisa A. Herbold, Co-Chair
- Jennifer Adams, Lived Experience of Homelessness
- Andrew Coak, Labor Representative
- Lisa Daugaard, Subject Matter Expert
- Ian Eisenberg, Business Representative
- Samantha Grad, Labor Representative
- Kirsten Harris-Talley, Community Co-Chair
- Katie B. Wilson, Subject Matter Expert
- Brianna Little, Service Provider
- Daniel K. Malone, Housing/Service Provider
- Tom Mathews, Business Representative
- Fernando Mejia-Ledesma, Business Representative
- Courtney O’Toole, Lived Experience of Homelessness
- Tony To, Community Co-Chair
- Maiko Winkler-Chin, Housing Provider
As established by Resolution 31782, the PRT is expected to: “…develop recommendations to the Council that will (a) explore potential new progressive revenue sources, including an Employee Hours Tax; and, (b) identify investments to be paid for using those progressive revenue sources that would assist people who are homeless or at high risk of becoming homeless in obtaining and retaining stable housing.” A resolution naming the PRT co-chairs, task force members and clarifying the task force scope and work plan, relative to the regional “One Table” task force, will be brought to the City Council on Tuesday January 2, 2018 for a vote by the Full Council.
The 16 member committee will convene in early January 2018 and is expected to report back to Council with their recommendations by February 26, 2018. Council has expressed its intent to take legislative action on imposing an Employee Hours Tax and/or other progressive taxes by March 26, 2018, or early enough to ensure that such taxes can be imposed as of January 1, 2019.
Dana Robinson Slote, Council Communications, 206-615-0061
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