Executive Constantine, Mayor Durkan commend proposed Washington State House bill to provide King County with a new tool to fund regional housing and homelessness services
Introduced today, HB 2907 grants King County new authority to create a progressive payroll tax on large businesses whose employees earn more than $150,000 per year. The legislation could allow the County to generate approximately $121 million annually for housing, homelessness, public safety, and behavioral health services across the region.
HB 2907 would allow King County new resources to fund four critical priorities in our region, including:
• Affordable housing;
• Investments to tackle homelessness;
• Support for behavioral health and substance use disorder; and
• Upstream public safety and diversion solutions
King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan released the following joint statement:
"Our region is working every day to tackle homelessness and increase the production of affordable housing, but we know that we must do more. We thank legislators in Olympia for recognizing that regional need, and for bringing forward a progressive new funding tool for King County – and we encourage them to act with urgency. We also appreciate this opportunity for productive discussions with legislators, community members, philanthropy, service providers, businesses, and labor organizations. We believe that, working together, we can implement proven strategies that allow everyone in our community to thrive.
Because of our regressive tax code, King County has limited revenue options. This crisis demands more tools for the region outside of property and sales taxes. Many of the region’s largest businesses, with deep roots in our community, want to participate in solutions, and want to do so with a comprehensive, countywide approach to homelessness, housing, behavioral health, and public safety. We agree, and this bill is a strong step in that direction.
We know more input and ideas will help make this bill better, but we cannot miss this moment to act.”
The bill would also create an advisory board composed of businesses and community representatives to ensure funds go toward lasting solutions and affordable housing. Revenue would be available starting January 1, 2021.
For more information, contact:
Alex Fryer, Executive Office, Alex.Fryer@kingcounty.gov
Kelsey Nyland, Mayor's Office, Kelsey.Nyland@seattle.gov