Seattle Slaps Big Business With More Taxes To Pay For The Poor

Marco Green
May 17, 2018

Seattle's city council on Monday approved a new tax for the city's biggest companies, including Amazon.com Inc, to combat a housing crisis attributed in part to a local economic boom that has driven up real estate costs at the expense of the working class. Does she not realize that the giant, job-providing company could pack up and leave Seattle?

Seattle's city council voted for a new tax on large employers in the city.

In a biting statement, a Starbucks spokesman accused city leaders of failing to spend effectively on homelessness and ignoring children sleeping outside.

"If they can not provide a warm meal and safe bed to a 5-year-old child, no one believes they will be able to make housing affordable or address opiate addiction", said John Kelly, Starbucks' senior vice president of global public affairs and social impact.

"People are dying on the doorsteps of prosperity". She called the compromise plan "a down payment" to build housing the city needs.

"Over $200 million in tax dollars were spent on homelessness in King County past year", he added. As Nick Wingfield writes in the New York Times, "The council had originally considered an annual "head" tax of $500 per full-time employee for Amazon and other large employers, but the amended measure that passed reduced that figure to $275..."

"This is hilarious, two of the biggest and most liberal companies in the USA now want to tap out because their cities are too liberal", Coglianese said.

Tax proponents have said too many people are suffering on the streets and that the problem is deepening even though city-funded programs found homes for 3,400 people previous year.

On Monday, about 40 elected officials from across the United States, some representing local governments in the running to host Amazon's second headquarters, published an open letter to Seattle in support of the head tax and expressing concern that Amazon opposed the measure. "The city does not have a revenue problem - it has a spending efficiency problem", he said.

"The battle lines on this issue were more starkly drawn than they have been on numerous other progressive issues that the Seattle city council has pushed in recent years", Nelson told TheDCNF, adding the head tax drew opposition from many divergent interests in the city.

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman weighed in on Seattle's controversial new head tax Tuesday, offering a sober perspective amid vitriolic responses to the legislation. "There's no away I can afford to live in Seattle". Denver has enacted a similar tax, and Chicago had one but repealed it. Seattle itself had a head tax in effect from 2006 to 2009 but it was repealed to help businesses in the midst of the recession.

John Boufford with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades said he did not understand the rhetoric against Amazon, which he noted provides good jobs for thousands of people. They tend to say what they're going to do and then do it. That approach makes sense only if the businesses that have made Seattle a thriving city are nailed to the ground.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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