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Tacoma City Council enacts new business license fees for 2023-24

In November 2022, Tacoma City Council passed an ordinance which increases business license fees by as much as 700% over the next two years. While Council claims that only 10% of businesses will incur significant fee increases, real estate is one industry which will experience significant changes.

Specifically, the ordinance (28838, amending Section 6B.20 of the Tacoma Municipal Code) does the following (refer to right for a chart of scheduled fee increases):

1. Requires that all real estate offices pay a license fee based upon the total gross income of its agents.

2. Requires that all real estate agents, who conduct at least one transaction in the City of Tacoma, pay a license fee based upon their total gross income of all transactions (including those outside the City).

3. Increases fees on a tiered basis as-determined by annual gross income.

Per comments made by City Council, these fees are expected to generate an additional $10 million per year for the City's General Fund. TPCAR's advocacy team tracked this issue but Council did not elect to hear our concerns prior to passage of the ordinance. TPCAR is continuing to discuss this matter to determine if additional opportunities exist for finding relief for our membership.

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