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CEO Wants to Be Taxed More In Support of Homelessness Bill

A proposed tax bill has inspired a Seattle-based CEO to ask lawmakers to increase his taxes in order to help the homeless.

Dan Price

A tax bill proposed last week has inspired a Seattle-based CEO to ask lawmakers to increase his taxes in order to help people experiencing homelessness. 

Dan Price, the Founder and CEO of Gravity Payments, made an unprecedented move in 2015 by taking a $1 million pay cut to $70,000 a year in order to raise the minimum for his employees. 

Now Price is standing up for a newly proposed bill that would add a small payroll tax, which would bring in up to $121 million to pay for housing and services for the homeless. 

“This bill will cost me money, I’m going to pay money as part of this bill, but what it will cost me will be less than our throwback to the 90s holiday party that we just threw,” Price told local lawmakers.  

Price said that he sees many people experiencing homelessness living near his office’s headquarters. He added that people making $30,000 a year couldn’t afford to live in Seattle and were out in the cold. Seattle’s current minimum wage for employees of larger companies is $16.39 an hour, and for smaller companies, it’s $15.75 an hour. 

“We can’t solve these systemic issues through private solutions,” Price said. “And we need all of you to step up.” 

The bill is supposed to be passed through the House Finance Committee by February 11, but some lawmakers argue they need $500 million to provide affordable housing. 

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