Take that, Seattle: Pierce County offering $275-per-new-job incentive to businesses

TACOMA, Wash. - Pierce County said Monday that it's set to announce a $275 for new jobs created in the county at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

The announcement came exactly a week after Seattle passed its controversial head tax, which will tax the city's largest businesses $275 per employee per year to raise money to fight the city's homeless crisis.

"Well, it's kind of funny how they came up with that number (of $275)," said Pierce County director of communications Libby Catalinich, when asked if this was a direct shot at the head tax.

Catalinich said each jurisdiction in the county will determine exactly how the credit will be applied, and that the money could come either in the form of direct payments or tax credits.

"Pierce County plans to create new, family-wage jobs by showcasing a $275 employee tax credit that will be available across the county," a press release reads.

The plan is supported by Tacoma mayor Victoria Woodards, Pierce County executive Bruce Dammeier, Dupont mayor Mike Courts, in addition to some community business leaders.

Tacoma immediately seized on the head tax as an opportunity to lure businesses south.

“To put the burden on the back of business is wrong," ” Tacoma Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Tom Pierson said last week. The passage of the head tax is the last straw that’s going to break the back of a lot of businesses.

“They’re making decisions on, do they need to be in Seattle, should they be in Tacoma, and down here we have a huge advantage."