Head Tax Brown Bag

A day after the City’s Metro service cut meeting, the Great City Initiative (founded by someone named Mike McGinn) is hosting a brown bag on the proposed repeal of the head tax.

I’m of two minds about this issue.  On the one hand, even if revenues are coming in ahead of schedule, there’s no shortage of need for small-bore projects like sidewalks.  On the other hand, I agree with Tim Burgess that a higher parking tax is a much more transparent and lightweight way to discourage SOV driving into downtown.  Retailers, of course, might feel differently.  Anyway, as long as the parking tax increases in line with the head tax reduction, I feel no particular attachment to that revenue source.

I wish somebody would get me a job downtown so that I could attend some of these.  Press release below the jump.

Employee Hours Tax Brown Bag
Thursday, August 13th
12:00 – 1:30 pm
GGLO Space at the Steps
1301 First Ave, Level A
Enter through door located about ¼ of the way down the Harbor Steps

Please join Great City as we discuss the recently proposed repeal of the Employee Hours tax (aka, the “head tax”) with City Councilmember Tim Burgess, Rebecca Deehr, and Renee Staton. The Employee Hours tax is an annual $25 tax levied on employees who commute to work in single occupancy vehicles. Originally included as part of the funding structure for the Bridging the Gap program in 2006, City Council will be considering a repeal of the tax in the fall. Join us as we discuss how the tax works, what it funds, and what alternatives to funding are being proposed to replace it.

Tim Burgess is Chair of the Council‘s Public Safety, Human Services and Education Committee and vice-chair of the Planning, Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee. He also serves as co-chair of the city’s Domestic Violence Prevention Council and the Family and Education Levy Oversight Committee. Prior to joining the council, he was a Seattle police officer and detective from 1971 to 1978; served from 1989 to 2001 on the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, including five years a chair of this quasi-judicial body responsible for protecting the integrity and transparency of city government; founded and co-owned for 22 years a marketing firm that served nonprofit organization; chaired the Queen Anne Community Council; and was a founding member of Queen Anne Neighbors for Responsible Growth

Renee Staton is a community organizer who lives in the Pinehurst neighborhood in north Seattle. She is part of the Safe Walks coalition, a board member of Great City, a member of the Seattle Neighborhood Plan Advisory Committee, chair of Friends of Jackson Park Trail, and maintains a Pinehurst neighborhood blog (http://pinehurstcommunity.blogspot.com/). She has a Masters of Professional Accounting – Taxation and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Washington. For the past 14 years Renee has specialized in tax planning and compliance at a large public accounting firm and two Fortune 500 companies.

Rebecca Deehr is a nonprofit professional and consultant who has worked on advocacy for walkable neighborhoods (as an activist at the neighborhood and city scale, and for Feet First, an organization advocating for walkability in the Puget Sound region). She is a co-chair of the Pedestrian Master Plan Advisory Group and has a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington.

Great City’s brownbag lunch forum series is generously hosted by GGLO


  1. Mickymse says

    I’ll be there. I DO have a Downtown job, with flexibility. (Sorry, Martin :-)

    Shall I try to take notes for y’all again?

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