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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: New rules for Seattle businesses

12/16/2009  12:01:00 PM
Denise Movius (206)684-9259
Cyndi Wilder  (206) 684-0909
Julie Moore  (206) 684-0909

New rules for Seattle businesses
Taxes and license fees must be current before renewing business licenses

SEATTLE — Seattle business owners must now pay any unfiled and/or unpaid tax or license fees before they can renew their business or regulatory licenses for 2010. Notices were sent to all licensed business owners in Seattle following recent legislation passed by the City Council as part of the adoption of the 2010 budget.

In November, as part of the 2010 budget legislation, the Council amended ordinances relating to business and regulatory licenses. In particular, the legislation addressed the problem of continued loss of revenue owed to the city of Seattle and the resulting inequities between those business owners who routinely pay their fees and taxes, and those who owe large debts. Prior to this legislation, businesses were allowed to renew their licenses even if they had outstanding tax and fee obligations.

This legislation also includes a tax amnesty program where penalties can be waived if doing so would result in increased revenues and to encourage businesses to bring their accounts current.  If businesses have extraordinary balances due that would cause undue hardship to the businesses, they may request additional assistance by email or fax (206) 684-5170.

To file and/or pay any outstanding tax or licenses, please visit our online Web site at or email and request the applicable forms. A 2010 license will be mailed once the business license account is in good standing and has no balances due.

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Department of Executive Administration

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