Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle – South Park) issued the following statement after voting against Councilmember Kshama Sawant’s resolution, which opposed all “preemption” on Seattle’s ability to use an employee hours tax or payroll tax to raise additional revenue:
“Today’s resolution did not strengthen the ongoing negotiations around HB 2907 in Olympia, being led by Representative Nicole Macri, beyond the position the entire Council took, unanimously, in the letter Council signed and sent to Representative Nicole Macri and Senator Karen Keiser on February 10. The Council’s letter clearly expressed our strong support for HB 2907 and its companion SB 6669, which provide King County the authority to tax businesses, and commits the revenue to addressing our homelessness and housing needs.
“In the letter, we not only expressed our opposition to pre-empting Seattle from using our own limited revenue streams, but we also expressed the equally important need to a) increase the total revenue authority in HB 2907; b) specifically allocate at least 50% for housing, with the remaining funding allocated for other evidenced-based supports; c) and clarified the share of revenue available to Seattle.
“The Council’s letter was a timely, nuanced, and strong response to the ongoing conversation of progressive revenue, and gave clear direction to the sponsors of HB 2907 about the importance of all four of these important elements.
“I am heartened that Rep. Nicole Macri is representing the City’s interests in these complex negotiations with a large number of moving parts. Rep. Macri is nationally known as a Housing First expert and for her deep understanding of effective strategies to end homelessness of people living with serious disabilities.
“I feel confident that Rep. Macri will be vigilant in negotiating to deliver as many of the city’s priorities as possible. She has spent her professional lifetime working on affordable housing and homelessness, and is as interested as anyone in ensuring that the City of Seattle has the revenue tools we need to adequately address our homelessness and housing crises and help more Seattleites find homes.”