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Seattle wants to increase its Business and Occupation tax

Seattle officials are planning to raise the taxes and fees on business owners. This week, a City Council committee approved the changes to the Business and Occupation tax and the business license fee. The mayor proposed the changes in June.

The money would be used to hire 80 more police officers, out of the 200 Mayor Ed Murray has called for.


Council Member Rob Johnson said the money will give the City Council more options down the road, and avoid what could have been a budget shortfall.

Johnson: "Of having to choose between officers, or human services, or other important city budget priorities ... So I think it will help us have easier policy choices in 2020."

The B&O tax has long been opposed by the Washington Policy Center. They argue businesses shouldn't be taxed to pay for government spending.

Under the city's proposed tax increase, it would go up 3.2 percent. A business that brings in $1 million in revenue would pay an additional $70 a year.

The license fee would increase depending on business size. The smallest businesses would pay $25 more per year.

The full City Council still needs to approve the changes.

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