Unlike Seattle, we welcome businesses in SnoCo

  • Saturday, June 30, 2018 1:30am
  • Opinion

News last month about Seattle’s new head tax ignited a fiery debate about what our business climate looks like in the Puget Sound area.

Here in North Snohomish County, we have worked to create a welcoming environment for businesses to thrive and for the creation of family wage jobs through the Arlington-Marysville Manufacturing Industrial Center.

The MIC is an area of manufacturing and industrial businesses in parts of Arlington and Marysville. The 4,000-pluw acre zone is home to over 7,400 existing jobs with many more expected.

Local leaders worked with area legislators to pass Senate Bill 5761 to give a property tax-incentive for new businesses within the MIC.

In order to qualify, businesses must create at least 25 new jobs paying at least $18 per hour.

Over the next 20 years, the MIC is projected to create over 25,000 new family wage jobs in North Snohomish County. Existing infrastructure makes the location of the MIC enticing for new businesses to locate here.

This includes close proximity to I-5 and rail access as well as the Arlington Airport and new commercial air service at Paine Field. Regional stormwater retention ponds and a PUD substation are also in place to accommodate new businesses. In addition, significant infrastructure improvements have been planned in anticipation for this economic growth. The Connecting Washington transportation package includes construction of a new, fully funded interchange at I-5 and 156th St NE, which will ease traffic congestion and increase access to the MIC in coming years.

The Puget Sound Regional Council designates certain MICs for future growth. In March of 2018, the criteria was updated to include the Arlington-Marysville MIC in the list of regional centers planned for more intensive commercial and industrial activity.

This new designation will help put our MIC on the map for businesses looking to expand or move into our region. It also ensures that North Snohomish County remains a priority for transportation and infrastructure investments moving forward.

I am excited about the potential that the Arlington-Marysville MIC provides for our region. I am happy to support our efforts to bring more, family wage jobs to North Snohomish County so that residents in our region can work and play close to where they live. This reduces traffic congestion and allows more time for our residents to spend with their families and in their communities.

As other jurisdictions to the south continue to place additional tax and regulatory burdens on job creators, I am proud of our work to encourage and support new businesses and jobs in North Snohomish County.

Nate Nehring is a Snohomish County councilman who represents Marysville, Arlington and surrounding areas. His columns run monthly.

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