Nov 10, 2022 - News

Tukwila voters approve minimum wage hike

Illustration of hand putting money in ballot box.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Seattle and SeaTac won't be the only Washington cities with minimum wages around $19 an hour next year.

Driving the news: As of Wednesday, about 82% of voters in the south King County city of Tukwila had approved an initiative to raise its minimum wage, per King County Elections.

Details: Starting next July, the Tukwila initiative will require large employers of more than 500 employees to pay a minimum wage that matches neighboring SeaTac's. That's $19.06 per hour in 2023, increasing annually with inflation.

  • Smaller employers will be given more time to raise their wages to SeaTac's level, but must do so by July 2025, according to the text of the measure.

Of note: Long term, the city initiative will cover businesses that employ at least 15 people or have annual gross revenue above $12 million.

The big picture: The initiative's passage will make Tukwila one of three Washington cities, including Seattle, that require employers to pay higher wages than the statewide floor.

Why it matters: Supporters of the measure wrote in the county voter's pamphlet that the initiative would provide raises for "thousands of underpaid workers at corporate chains around Southcenter Mall" and help residents keep up with the city's rising cost of living.

The other side: The ballot measure had no organized opposition. No statement against it was submitted for the voters pamphlet.

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