Wednesday, September 30, 2015

City of Tacoma Offers Employers Information Sessions on Paid Leave

Tacoma's paid leave ordinance takes effect on Feb. 1, 2016. Employers who want to learn more about this ordinance, and the tools available to them as they work to incorporate paid leave into their respective workplaces, are encouraged to attend one of two employer information sessions in October:
Thursday, Oct. 15, 4 - 5:30 p.m.
Tacoma Public Library Main Branch (Olympic Room)
1102 Tacoma Ave. S.
Tuesday, Oct. 20, 10 - 11:30 a.m.
STAR Center (Discover Room)
3873 S. 66th Street
These information sessions will be followed by a question and answer session if time permits.
In addition to these information sessions, nearly a dozen business organizations and community groups have arranged to receive special presentations from City staff. Organizations or community groups wishing to schedule a special presentation can email or call (253) 591-5306.

More information for employers and workers is available at, by emailing or calling (253) 591-5306.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Proposed Vapor Product Regulations

Proposed vapor product regulations and supporting documents are now available. Click on the links below to learn more.

1. Board of Health Resolution

2. Summary of Proposed Regulations
Smoking in Public Places Regulation (Chapter 8 of the Environmental Health Code)
Restrictions on Sale, Use and Availability of Vapor Products and Unregulated Nicotine Delivery Devices Regulation (Chapter 9 of the Environmental Health Code)

3. Fees and Fines

4. Administration Record Documentation, which includes community input and research to support regulations is available by request. Contact Shelley Wallace at or at (253) 798-3548 to request a review of record.

Direct comments regarding these documents to: Anthony L-T Chen, Director of Health, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, 3629 S. D St. Tacoma, WA 98418 or by email.

They will accept written comments until 4:30 p.m. on October 19, 2015.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Opportunities for Government Contracting

Businesses looking to win government contracts will have the opportunity at the Greater Pierce County Purchasing Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 8:00 a.m. to noon at the STAR Center, 3873 S 66th St in Tacoma. Click here for map and directions.

Learn first-hand how to register and compete for contracts with federal, state, and local government agencies, meet one-on-one with purchasing agents, network with other Pierce County business owners and managers, and participate in breakout sessions.

  • Panelists and exhibitors include 
  • Pierce County
  • City of Tacoma
  • Port of Tacoma
  • Washington State Department of Transportation
  • Washington State Department of Enterprise Services
  • Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
  • Native PTAC
  • NAVSUP Fleet Logics Center-Puget Sound
  • U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord
  • Tacoma Public Schools
  • Pierce Transit
  • Northwest Minority Supplier Development Council
  • King County Director Association (KCDA) School Purchasing Consortium
  • Washington State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises

Register online or contact Hans Kueck at (253) 798-2335 or email.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Chamber Endorses City of Tacoma Roads Package (Prop. 3 & 4)

On August 27th, the Chamber Board of Directors voted to endorse Tacoma City Council's Propositions 3 and 4.  

The text of the resolution is below:

SUBJECT:    TACOMA PROPOSITION 3: Concerning a property tax levy rate increase and utility gross earnings tax increase to fund street improvements

TACOMA TRANSPORTATION BENEFIT DISTRICT PROPOSITION 4: Concerning the imposition of a sales tax to fund street improvements


BACKGROUND: In 2013, the City of Tacoma placed a proposition to the voters to add an additional 2% to the existing utility gross earnings tax in order to fund street improvements.  The Chamber opposed the measure on several grounds.  Some of these included concerns about prioritization of existing dollars, task force/commission processes, and expecting a handful of businesses to pay the bulk of the taxes despite most of the improvements going towards residential roads.  A majority of voters agreed with the Chamber that this was not an appropriate tax.

Since 2013, the Chamber has worked with community stakeholders, including electeds and staff at the City of Tacoma, to evaluate alternative funding and improvement plans.  While no tax is an ideal scenario, the proposed package successful spreads the tax burden to all parties and users throughout the area while setting a 10-year sunset on the entire package.  The two propositions combine for $175M in new revenue.  When added to new matching funds from the general fund, existing street funding revenues and new grant matches, the total package is $425M.

City Funding Source
10 Year Revenues
     New Sales Tax (+0.1%) (Prop 4)
$45 M
     New Utility Gross Earnings Tax (+1.5%) (Prop 3)
$90 M
     New Levy Lid Lift (+$0.2 per $1,000AV) (Prop 3)
$40 M
     New Additional General Fund Support (Council Budget)
$30 M
     Existing Revenues ($20 Tab, 2% UGET)
$100 M
City Funding
$305 M
     Grant Matching Funds
$120 M
$425 M

This funding would then be spent on residential streets (67%), arterials & freight access (18%), and walking and biking infrastructure (15%).  This work would pave 167 blocks of gravel streets, resurface 2,100 blocks of failed and poor streets, and provide sufficient maintenance for all excellent, good, and fair residential streets, totaling another 4,211 blocks. In addition it would provide funding for key freight mobility connection in the Port of Tacoma and multimodal facilities like an improved Schuster Parkway and Prairie Line Trail.

The residents of Tacoma have consistently ranked the condition of the streets as a number one priority, but despite several options on the ballot, have to choose to increase taxes to pay for the street repairs.  It is unclear the level of support these measures will need to be successful at the ballot box.

While the Chamber supports these proposals to improve streets throughout Tacoma, we will continue to encourage the City to look for additional efficiencies in general operations.  With an annual general fund budget of $200M, saving just 1% would allow an additional $20M to be spent on roads over 10-years.  To this end, we hope that this City will continue to focus on job creation in the private sector by hiring private contractors to complete the work rather than increasing internal staff.

IMPLEMENTATION:  With approval of a policy, the Chamber will utilize is communications tools for advocacy.