'We're open for business!' Pierce County leaders announce $275 family-wage job credits

PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Nine Pierce County mayors and the county executive announced the county is "open for business," with the creation of a $275 per new job incentive for businesses starting January 1, 2019.

Each jurisdiction has pledged to design the one-time credit and submit ordinances to their respective councils for consideration and a vote.

The proposal for unincorporated Pierce County is to create a job credit that will be available to businesses that create at least five new family-wage jobs – defined as paying $65,000 annually – in 2019.

Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards said she will not propose a new credit, but businesses that create family-wage jobs can "already qualify for up to four different credits.”

But the big message Tuesday's was aimed at Seattle area business owners, especially those whose employees commute from the South Sound.

"Let them walk in the park at lunch, let them coach their soccer teams in the evening, and let them ride their bikes to work," DuPont Mayor Mike Courts said. "The biggest thing we can do to solve the congestion on the I-5 corridor is get off of it."

The announcement comes 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.

Mayors from Bonney Lake, DuPont, Fife, Lakewood, Puyallup, Steilacoom, Sumner, Tacoma, and University Place stood in support of the business initiative.