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Seattle Restaurants Vs. The Chamber of Commerce

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

A battle between a coalition of restaraunts across Seattle vs the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is centered around something called the Seattle JumpStart Tax. The purpose of this tax, which is soon to be imposed on January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2040, is to apply taxes to employee salaries above $150,000. These rates will range between 0.7%-2.4% based on the what employees are compensated in each business. Although small businesses support this as there is a projected 15 percent of the revenue raised to go toward economic recovery for them, the Chammber of Commerce has called this tax"unconstitutional and says it will delay the city’s recovery from the pandemic." Here is a chart for how the JumpStart Tax will be assesed:

The tax was passed on July 6, 2020 and has since been the subject of discussion for the months since leading up to today. The Chamber of Commerce believes that the Seattle City Council wrongfull went above the City's taxing authority and therefore has filed a lawsuit against the JumpStart Tax. This lawsuit is much maligned by a group called Seattle Restaurants United, a group whose purpose is to help keep small restuarants stable and prosperous, especially through tough periods of time.

From the beginning of the pandemic up until now, around 600 bars and restaurants have permanently closed. For the establishments that haven't closed? They have had to cut down on hours and staff members and have seem some of the hugest layoffs compared to any other industry. Unfortunately, this trend does not seem to be stopping anytim time soon. The disagreement between both parties seems to be long-standing without a budge from either. Whether you support big businesses, small businesses, or both, there is no denying the there have been an influx of closures that will hopefull be mitigated in some fashion in the near future.


Roberts, P. (2020, December 14). Struggling small restaurants defend JumpStart tax after Seattle chamber files lawsuit. Retrieved December 19, 2020, from

Seattle City Passed New JumpStart Payroll Tax. (n.d.). Retrieved December 19, 2020, from

Seattle JumpStart Tax. (2020, August 04). Retrieved December 19, 2020, from

Seattle Restaurants United. (n.d.). Retrieved December 19, 2020, from



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