Here are some of the new and increased taxes on business and regulations benefiting workers implemented in Seattle in the last three years.

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Here are some of the new and increased taxes on business and regulations benefiting workers implemented in Seattle in the past three years:

  • Seattle’s business and occupation tax rates increased 2 percent in 2017 and 1.2 percent this year after a 2016 City Council vote – the first such increase since 1992 – to raise funding for the police department.
  • The fee for a business license in Seattle doubled in 2018 to $2,000 for businesses with annual taxable revenue of $5 million or more. It’s scheduled to increase next year from $480 to $500 for businesses with revenue of $500,000 or more.
  • The city’s sweetened beverage tax of $.0175 per ounce took effect Jan. 1, 2018, adding costs to grocers, restaurants and others selling sweetened drinks in Seattle. The tax is designed to be passed on to consumers to discourage consumption.
  • Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance took effect in April 1, 2015, increasing this year to $15.45 an hour for employers with at least 501 employees that don’t offer health insurance and $15 an hour for those that do. Smaller employers must pay $14 an hour or $11.50 an hour depending on whether employees earn tips and/or receive at least $2.50 an hour to pay for health insurance. Wage minimums increase Jan. 1 to $15 for smaller employers and $16 for large ones, doing away with the second pay tier for employers that offer insurance.
  • Seattle’s secure scheduling ordinance took effect July 1, 2017, requiring retailers and restaurant chains with at least 500 employees and 40 full-service locations worldwide to provide a good-faith estimate of work hours for the year ahead; schedules posted 14 days in advance; a minimum of 10 hours off between shifts; and other requirements.

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Mounting costs in Seattle weigh on grocers and restaurants. See the interactive tax comparison tool.