Councilmember Mosqueda Moves Forward with Transparency and Accountability Measures for JumpStart Seattle

Home » Councilmember Mosqueda Moves Forward with Transparency and Accountability Measures for JumpStart Seattle

Fund Created Focusing on Good Governance and Commitment to Investments Centered on BIPOC and Communities most in need of Recovery 

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Pos. 8 – Citywide), Chair of the Finance and Housing Committee, alongside her Council colleagues with support from community stakeholders, passed legislation today that would create the JumpStart Payroll Expense Tax Fund (JumpStart Fund) in the City’s treasury for the use of revenues raised from the progressive payroll expense tax authorized by Ordinance 126108.  Centering good governance, this fund provides accountability and transparency in the budget for the use of revenues raised from the payroll tax, in line with purposes detailed in the JumpStart spending plan resolution adopted by the City Council last summer.

“Legislation isn’t finished when we take votes; it’s important to the broad coalition of housing advocates, labor unions, small and large businesses, equity-based organizations, food security advocates, immigrant and refugee organizations, and more, that we fulfill our commitment to prioritize JumpStart investments equitably and in line with the spending plan,” said Mosqueda.  “Good governance dictates the accountability and transparency this budget legislation provides and I look forward to following this legislation with the creation of the JumpStart Seattle oversight board, enhancing trust with members of the public.”

“Seattle is moving forward toward an equitable recovery from COVID-19. On the heels of the King County Superior Court decision upholding the Jump Start plan, it’s exciting to see the Seattle City Council move to create the Jump Start fund. This is an important action to reinforce the Council’s commitment to invest the funds from this progressive payroll tax in alignment with the priorities originally outlined in the Jump Start plan: housing, equitable economic development, and the Seattle Green New Deal,” said Misha Werschkul, Executive Director of the Washington State Budget & Policy Center. 

In July of 2020, the Council celebrated passage of the JumpStart Progressive Revenue tax, which included a robust COVID relief bill and spending plan resolution, through Ordinance 126109, and further detailed through adoption of Resolution 31957.  JumpStart Seattle allowed the city to maintain services to Seattle residents, and provided direct assistance to those most impacted by COVID-19, including rental assistance, small business and childcare assistance, and food security. The legislation, crafted with housing advocates, small and large businesses, labor unions, and equity-focused organizations, directs future tax revenues to extend immediate COVID relief programs, provide investments into affordable housing and services, the Equitable Development Initiative, Green New Deal investments, and economic resilience plans. The investments center equitable recovery with investments into programs that focus on communities historically left behind by governmental policies, including home ownership, homelessness, and environmental investments. 

“Investments outlined in the JumpStart Seattle spend plan are critical to further the city’s work to prevent and end homelessness, address staggering income inequality in Seattle and our region, and help those impacted by pandemic-related debt to move forward—and these investments need to be reliable and predictable. Seattle needs to stay the course on the programs funded by JumpStart Seattle and this ordinance holds us to that commitment,” said Rachel Myers, Executive Director, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance. 

“I am glad to see Councilmember Mosqueda move forward with creating greater assurance and transparency that the Jumpstart revenue will go toward the critical investments we need to address our most pressing crises in Seattle: housing and homelessness. With more than 60% of Jumpstart funding going toward affordable housing – including housing at or below 30% of AMI, community-focused acquisition, housing to address past discriminatory policies, and new homeownership options – this funding is essential for creating a more equitable recovery and more housing for Seattleites,” said Nicole Macri, State Representative, 43rd District.

Below are more details outlining JumpStart’s originally intended spending plan:

  • 62% of JumpStart funding goes toward affordable housing, including housing serving households at or below 30% of AMI, a portion of funding set aside specifically for community focused acquisition and housing to address past discriminatory policies and practices such as redlining and racial restrictive covenants, and homeownership funding for households that are at risk of displacement or have faced barriers due to past discriminatory practices
    • Black adults represent 28% of homeless households receiving services in the homeless response system – more than quadruple their percentage of the King County population, and In King County; Black adults are evicted 5.5 times more often than white adults.  THE RACE GAP (
      • Roughly 51% of white households in Seattle own their homes, while 25% of Hispanic households and 24% of Black or African American households own their homes. SPCGSdigital01062020.pdf (  

“If we are truly committed to an equitable future, then we must invest in BIPOC communities and support community-driven solutions for a cleaner environment and to keep us rooted in place —which is why we advocated for the JumpStart spend plan to dedicate a combined $40 million per year in new revenues to Green New Deal and Equitable Development Initiative investments. The JumpStart fund will protect the City’s commitment to these community-accountable programs, and will aid in an equitable recovery that secures community resilience and self-determination with investments that are additive, consistent, and impactful,” said Ab Juaner, Puget Sound Sage.

  • 9% of future JumpStart funding  goes to Green New Deal priorities to transition existing housing off fossil fuels so that homeowners are able to stay in place and increase their climate resilience,  investing in job training programs for just transition with outreach to BIPOC communities to create pathways for good green union jobs for local communities.  BIPOC communities experience the greatest impacts of environmental injustice and are often hit first and worst by climate change. 

“The housing and homelessness crisis and the climate crisis are the two greatest challenges facing our city. JumpStart was designed to step up to those challenges by directing the bulk of the revenue to affordable housing, equitable development and Green New Deal programs. We need to protect these funds and make sure they’re used as intended,” said Katie Wilson, General Secretary, Transit Riders Union.

“JumpStart Seattle paves the way for Seattle’s Green New Deal, with transformative investments in affordable housing, clean energy and workforce development — reducing our climate pollution while creating thousands of good green jobs. Councilmember Mosqueda’s proposed JumpStart Seattle fund will keep Seattle on track; by aligning spending with the community-defined priorities in the 2020 legislation and ensuring investments are accountable to communities most impacted by climate chaos, we can take concrete steps towards a healthy climate future for all,” said Jess Wallach, 350 Seattle.

The JumpStart legislation passed today directs the deposit of payroll expense tax revenues into the JumpStart Fund and requires the spending of such revenues consistent with Ordinance 126109 and Resolution 31957.  In addition, in the event that General Fund revenues in 2022 do not fully recover from the pandemic, it allows flexibility for the Executive to reallocate a limited portion of payroll tax revenues to support the continuity of staffing and services that were in place prior to the pandemic.

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