TACOMA, Wash. – The Tacoma City Council adopted two new tax credits on December 19 to incentivize the private sector to create green jobs and hire more individuals with disabilities. Mayor Victoria Woodards, Council Member Keith Blocker, Council Member Joe Bushnell, and Council Member Kiara Daniels brought forward the Tacoma Work Opportunity $1,000 tax credit for employers adding a new position and filling the position with an individual with a physical or mental disability. The Council also approved a revision to its Green Jobs tax credit that increases the credit to $1,000 for new employment at companies producing green products or using green processes aligned with the City of Tacoma’s Green Economic Development Strategy.
“During my two terms as the Council Member for District 3, I have worked to advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in Tacoma,” said Council Member Keith Blocker. “Our disabled community can face considerable barriers to finding employment, leaving many without opportunities to live independently and enhance their quality of life. I led the effort to create the Tacoma Work Opportunity tax credit to ensure that we are taking steps to help individuals with disabilities find employment and achieve economic self-sufficiency. We must stand by those in our community who need our support and ensure that Tacoma offers good jobs to all our workers.”
“Council Member Blocker has truly helped us build a more equitable community over his last eight years, and his leadership on the Tacoma Work Opportunity tax credit shows his unyielding commitment to enhancing the lives of our residents,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “I am also thrilled to see this revision to the Green Jobs credit, which continues Tacoma’s commitment to an environmentally sustainable future for its residents, workers, and visitors while encouraging companies to consider expansion in Tacoma.”
Tacoma has long been a leader in Washington regarding the creation of local business tax credits that are designed to stimulate business, reward businesses for creating new jobs, and put our residents to work. The Tacoma Work Opportunity tax credit will be available to businesses that create a new permanent position and fill it with an individual with a disability, as identified through the Work Opportunity tax credit vocational rehabilitation referral. The position can be full or part time, but it must offer at least the state of Washington Department of Labor and Industries’ calculated minimum wage. This tax credit does not limit or interfere with businesses’ ability to receive the federal Work Opportunity tax credit for hiring individuals through the vocational rehabilitation referral.
“I really appreciate Council Member Blocker’s leadership bringing forward the Tacoma Work Opportunity tax credit to incentivize the hiring of individuals with disabilities,” said Council Member Bushnell, who co-sponsored the proposal. “With this tax credit in place, we are creating new opportunities for those who have been historically excluded from the workforce and supporting greater workforce inclusion for veterans with disabilities. This new tax credit also sends an important message to local businesses that individuals with disabilities are valuable members of our community and contribute to the vibrancy of our workforce.”
“I am very proud of Council Member Blocker and the City Council’s efforts to ensure that the private sector is helping advance our residents’ priorities, including increasing green jobs and employment for those with disabilities,” said Council Member Kiara Daniels, who also co-sponsored the proposal. “These tax credits will help a broad range of residents, and I am especially excited about the prospect for these tax credits to boost opportunities for our young people to gain meaningful and sustainable employment and to help students with disabilities transition into the workforce.”
“The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services’ (DSHS) Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) welcomes this additional tax incentive to increase the number of people who can achieve meaningful employment,” says Jeannine Chandler, Business Relations Manager at DSHS’ DVR. “We will continue to partner with Tacoma businesses by referring qualified job candidates and offering disability awareness, accessibility, and reasonable accommodations training. For more information regarding businesses and individuals with disabilities, please visit: DSHS, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.”
Community members with questions about this policy can contact Christina Caan in the Office of Council Member Keith Blocker, email@example.com, (253) 219-0679.