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Pierce County tries to capitalize on Seattle's big business tax backlash

Battle lines are being drawn as cities try to capitalize on the backlash erupting around Seattle's controversial big business tax. On Tuesday, Pierce County will detail a new plan to reward employers for creating new jobs - rather than charge them for adding to the labor pool. (Photo: KOMO News)

TACOMA, Wash. - Battle lines are being drawn as cities try to capitalize on the backlash erupting around Seattle's controversial big business tax.

On Tuesday, Pierce County will detail a new plan to reward employers for creating new jobs - rather than charge them for adding to the labor pool.

The incentive would give employers a $275 tax rebate for every new job they create. That is the same amount Seattle wants to take away from its largest businesses for each worker on the payroll.

“That sounds amazing, especially in comparison to the head tax,” said Michael Roberts, who lives in Tacoma. “The head tax sounds like, ‘Charge me to help homeless people’ and this sounds like “Charge to help us improve."

The new tax credit would only apply to jobs that pay at least $65,000 a year.

Rep. J.T. Wilcox, a Republican lawmaker out of Yelm, said plenty of people in his district travel to Seattle for family-wage jobs and this rebate could bring work to where they live.

"For them to take that hour or hour and a half one-way commute and find somewhere nearby and maybe have a half hour commute, think of what that means to their families,” Wilcox said.

Details of the tax incentive plan will be released Tuesday afternoon. It appears that each city in pierce county will have some flexibility in how they choose to implement it.


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