Starbucks joins Amazon, lambasting Seattle's new head tax on top-grossing companies


It sunsets in 2023. Now, before showing any reduction in homelessness, the council is more than doubling funding over 2016 levels by adding the head tax.

The council convened a 17-member Progressive Revenue Task Force, which in March published a report calling for an EHT that would raise at least $75 million. The tax will provide additional revenue.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on Thursday offered an alternate plan, cutting the tax in half from $500 to $250 per employee per year.

The council unanimously approved the final ordinance modified by approved Amendment 24 with a 9-0 vote.

The tax, which passed unanimously, is almost half the size that four city council members originally proposed in April. With it, frustration over the City Council's response to the homeless crisis grows.

Amazon said it was "disappointed" by the outcome of the vote and raised questions about its future growth in the city. "They are dying on our streets today because there is not enough shelter" and housing. The city spent $68 million on homelessness last year and plans to spend even more this year.

There's no danger that anyone at Amazon is going to be charged with a felony (fortunately, socialist show trials are not the norm in Seattle yet) but it does tell us something about the mindset of the people backing this tax.

"The city does not have a revenue problem - it has a spending efficiency problem", he said. "This City pays more attention to the desires of the owners of illegally parked RVs than families seeking emergency shelter", John Kelly, senior vice president, Global Public Affairs & Social Impact at Starbucks, said in a statement.

A line winds through Seattle City Hall as "head tax" supporters and opponents prepare for City Council meeting.

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Amazon has grown at a remarkable clip since it was first founded in the Seattle area in 1994. Sawant did not deny it and said she believes it is OK to use taxpayer-funded equipment for her "movement". People in the crowd held up signs: "Don't vote our jobs away" or "Tax the rich".

Meanwhile, Schoesler says state Attorney General Bob Ferguson has been "strangely silent" on the topic. "The results are getting worse every year", he said.

Seattle's latest tax proposal to combat homelessness takes aim at large businesses such as Amazon that have helped drive the city's economic boom.

The big retailers aren't the only ones raising concerns and questioning Seattle's ability to address the city's homeless problems thus far.

"I commend Mayor Durkan for engaging with leaders across the community and creating a workable compromise". Several local business groups declined to comment on what the tech giant's aggressive stance in Seattle could mean for Boston's relationship with the company. Sayeth Steve: "I hope that the states are more focused on cutting their budgets and giving tax cuts to their people in their states than they are in trying to evade the law".

However: If, as seems more likely as of Friday afternoon, the vote remains 5-4, the question becomes what will happen in the 30 days after Durkan vetoes it.

"This legislation will help us address our homelessness crisis without jeopardizing critical jobs", Durkan said in a statement.

Should large businesses be the target of initiatives like this?