Amazon Not Happy with Seattle's New Compromise Head Tax

Protesters hold placards during a city council vote for a new tax on the city

"As part of the budget process, I will remain focused on accountability and transparency for every department and on how this new revenue is going to be used towards homelessness services and new affordable housing". The Seattle region had the third-highest number of homeless people in the USA and saw 169 homeless deaths previous year.

Given that there is hot competition from other American cities to become home to Amazon's second headquarters, this stated apprehension about the Seattle's business climate, should give Seattle's City Council pause.

Amazon, one of the largest employers in Seattle, has opposed the new tax from the start.

Amazon vice president and spokesman Drew Herdener said in a statement that the tax's passage "forces us to question our growth" in Seattle, where Amazon is planning a new 17-story office tower.

"While a $275 head tax is perhaps small relative to the salary of a senior software engineer, it isn't for the entry-level jobs that an economically diverse city needs most". It is expected to generate about $48 million in revenue from some 585 companies, about 3 percent of those doing business in the city. "This revenue increase far outpaces the Seattle population increase over the same time period".

"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 Kelly.

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Amazon has suggested the city's coffers have grown in recent years and Starbucks, meanwhile, is suggesting the city has a spending problem.

The money raised supposedly will help Seattle cope with its homelessness crisis, but in squeezing the tech industry, the progressives on the City Council have forgotten something: If you tax something, you risk getting less of it, and certainly fewer jobs isn't the answer to helping the city's homeless.

"People are dying on the doorsteps of prosperity".

Amazon, in fact, is now expanding beyond its 45,000 employees and plans to add 7,000 more employees and build a new skyscraper. However the problem has only deteriorated with the number of homeless students attending public schools in the city tripling to close to 4,300 in the last school year. "This is the richest city in the state and in a state that has the most regressive tax system in the country", said Teresa Mosqueda, member of the city council. Shannon Brown, who lives in a home at a homeless encampment in south Seattle, supported the measure.

"I live in a little shed, but it's better than living in a tent or in a sleeping bag on the street", she said.

Socialist Councilmember Kshama Sawant said May 14 of the tax: "I do think that this is is a massive victory, that in the face of Amazon and Jeff Bezos saying "no" to any tax, any tax we pass today would be a massive victory".

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