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Seattle panel urges 'head tax' to fund help for homeless

Companies with more than $10 million in gross revenue would pay the bulk of the tax, while under the second and third options, the threshold would be $8 million.
Two years after then-Seattle Mayor Ed Murray declared Seattle and King County to be part of a civic crisis, the issue does not seem to be going away. (Photo: KING)

A Seattle task force is recommending the City Council adopt a $75 million-per-year "head tax" on high-grossing businesses to help address homelessness.

The Seattle Times reports the panel set up by the council reached consensus during their meeting Thursday after about two months of work.

The council narrowly rejected a $25 million-per-year head tax in November, instead promising to revisit the issue and pass a tax after additional task force study.

Under the first of several newly-recommended options, companies with more than $10 million in gross revenue would pay the bulk of the tax, while under the second and third options, the threshold would be $8 million.

The panel, co-chaired by Councilmembers M. Lorena González and Lisa Herbold, is recommending the council dedicate about 80 percent of the tax money to low-income housing and about 20 percent to emergency shelter and services.

The council is expected to take up the proposal this month.