Less than a month after unanimously passing a per-worker tax on large employers like Amazon.com Inc. "We are seeing more and more people lose their housing in Seattle each year so of course, we're spending more money on it".
Opponents called the Seattle measure a tax on jobs and questioned whether city officials are spending current resources effectively.
Originally passed on May 14, the measure required companies with annual revenue of $20 million or more to contribute $275 per employee annually toward efforts to combat widespread homelessness in Seattle.
Over chanting and frequent interruptions from head tax supporters, seven out of nine defeated-looking council members - Sally Bagshaw, Bruce Harrell, Rob Johnson, Lisa Herbold, Mike O'Brien, Lorena González, and Debora Juarez - voted against the so-called "head tax". The vote capped more contentious debate at Seattle City Hall, in which several speakers accused the local government of bending to the whims of Amazon. Now, people who support the tax say they'll be taking the fight to the polls. The head tax is a ideal thing for them to run on. "They are desperate, and they are angry, and they have a right to be". Many shouted, "Stop the repeal", as others unfurled a large red banner that read, "Tax Amazon". "I think this is about shared responsibility", Mosqueda said. A spokesman for Amazon declined to comment.
In the wake of the passage of the head tax in Seattle, a number of cities in Silicon Valley have been contemplating head taxes of their own to combat traffic congestion and other transportation problems that have arisen as the tech sector dominating the area has grown. Amazon balked at that price tag, pausing construction on its Block 18 office tower and reconsidering moving into the massive Rainier Square development, pending the city's vote.
The other thing was the campaign to repeal to the head tax by placing it on the ballot in November. And that poll was taken before the head tax was passed.
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Trump went on to say that the United States gets "unfairly clobbered" on trade despite "protecting Europe at great financial loss".
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The revenue is meant to help fight the city's homelessness and affordable housing problems. Most of the rest would help fund homeless services, including emergency shelters. Starbucks and Amazon each kicked in $25,000 for the effort, and supermarket groups put in $80,000, according to the Seattle Times. Starbucks Senior Vice President John Kelly welcomed the repeal.
In a statement, Durkan and the council members said "it is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis". But to the mayor's progressive critics, Durkan gave up the fight too soon.
Teresa Mosqueda, who co-sponsored the head tax legislation with Herbold and joined Sawant in voting against the repeal Tuesday, called Amazon's actions during the initial negotiations to shape the head tax a "hollow handshake" and repeated her call for a replacement plan before repealing the tax but said she was afraid that what will come next will be "more regressive tax structures". "This is a cowardly betrayal of the needs of working people".
Seattle tried raising money past year by passing an income tax on its wealthiest residents. "There's nothing but political tough decisions for cities trying to raise money", Auxier said.
But a one-night count in January found more than 12,000 homeless people in Seattle and the surrounding region, a 4 percent increase from the previous year.
He added: "We remain committed to addressing the challenges facing our incredible city together, forging a regional solution to homelessness that reforms the system, while preserving job creation and economic growth".