Initiative Measure No. 1 on the upcoming Nov. 8, 2022 general election ballot would raise the minimum wage in the City of Tukwila to approximately match that of neighboring cities SeaTac and Seattle.

Currently, the minimum wage within the City of Tukwila is $14.49 per hour, while SeaTac’s is $17.54/hour for hospitality and transportation workers and Seattle’s is $17.27/hour for most workers with some exceptions. Each is adjusted annually for inflation.

If passed, the new minimum wage would cover all sectors.

“Working families have more income to spend at local businesses and on necessities like child care and health care,” proponents said. “They’re less likely to miss a rental payment and become homeless. Good jobs make our communities stronger. Right now, a person working a full-time minimum wage job in Tukwila must spend over 60% of their income to rent a modest 1-bedroom apartment in King County.”

“It’s no wonder that thousands of Tukwila residents commute to SeaTac or Seattle for better-paying jobs. The minimum wage is several dollars an hour higher in these neighboring cities.”

Opponents of the initiative say that the wage increase would destroy jobs, reduce available work hours, and cause further inflation. They argue also that local businesses may choose to relocate away from areas that have high minimum wages, causing longer commutes for those who choose to stay with an employer.

The City of Tukwila is one of the largest job centers in the state, with thousands of retail and food service jobs at and around the Westfield Southcenter Mall. Wages and working conditions in Tukwila contribute to setting the standard for the entire region.

Here’s the language on the ballot as per King County Elections:

“This Ordinance requires certain employers, as defined by the ordinance, to pay employees an hourly minimum wage comparable to equivalent employees in the city of SeaTac and adjusted annually for inflation. Tips and qualifying service charges shall be retained by employees and may not count toward the hourly minimum wage. Additionally, covered employers must offer additional hours of work to existing employees before hiring new employees or subcontractors.”

Download the Tukwila City Council’s recommendations from June 28, 2022 here (PDF file).

Local voter’s ballots for the Nov. 8 election will be mailed the week of Oct. 18, 2022.