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May 3, 2010 at 9:29 PM

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Business groups to urge city leaders not to raise taxes

Posted by Emily Heffter

Local businesses groups are holding a press conference Tuesday morning to ask the city to look for efficiencies first as it seeks to solve a budget shortfall this year and a $56 million deficit in 2011.

According to the press release: "Hours before city leaders hold their second public hearing on the budget, organizational representatives will issue a joint appeal for lawmakers to cut costs and reduce expenses--as private employers would do--before pursuing new taxes to close the city's 2010 and 2011 budget deficits."

Although King County proposed a sales-tax increase last week, no one at the city has made any specific tax proposals. Mayor Mike McGinn supports the head-tax eliminated by the council last year, but it seems unlikely he could find support on the council to reinstate it. The head tax charged employers a tax on employees. It was reviled by the business community.

Beyond that, city leaders could raise the parking tax, raise vehicle-license fees, or put a property-tax increase on the ballot.

Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Christina Donegan said Tuesday's press conference isn't meant to protest any specific tax. The idea is to get together representatives from 30 businesses to urge the council to look for savings first, she said.

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Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

Keith Ervin
Covers the Eastside.

Andrew Garber
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

Emily Heffter
Covers local government.

Mike Lindblom
Covers transportation.

Kyung Song
Covers politics and regional issues from Washington, D.C.

Lynn Thompson
Covers Seattle City Hall.

Bob Young
Covers King County and urban affairs.