Amazon makes vague threat after Seattle passes new "head tax"

Amazon makes vague threat after Seattle passes new

The proposal's four sponsors said in a joint statement last week that the tax doesn't target one company, though they noted Amazon's record quarterly profits.

Almost 600 employers with gross revenues of more than $20 million - including Starbucks and Amazon - will be expected to pay the charge in Seattle from next year onwards. The new plan would raise an estimated $50 million a year instead of the original $75 million. The tax expires after five years with the option to renew it.

A compromise has been struck over the controversial proposed Head Tax by the Seattle City Council. Mayor Durkan fell in the latter camp.

John Boufford with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades said he did not understand rhetoric against Amazon, which he noted provides good jobs for thousands of people.

Businesses and others who say the tax is misguided and potentially harmful question whether the city is effectively using the tens of millions of dollars it already spends on homelessness each year. "We are left with limited viable choices to garner the votes we would need to send a bill to the mayor's desk that would not be vetoed", González said. It would likely owe even more when the tax switches to a 0.7 percent tax on business payroll in 2021.

Over 100 Seattle-area businesses, including Alaska Airlines, Expedia and Tableau, have spoken out against the head tax. On Friday, the most enthusiastic comment Johnson managed to muster about Durkan's proposal was that it "allows for us to continue that pay-as-you-go process that has been a hallmark of most of the affordable housing investments that we've made as a city".

Without naming Sawant, Juarez offered a retort.

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A spending plan for how the money will be allocated is still being considered, according to The Seattle Times.

He noted that Seattle revenue has grown dramatically and that the city "does not have a revenue problem - it has a spending efficiency problem". Construction workers chanted "no head tax" and disrupted a news conference she held last week on Amazon's campus.

A line winds through Seattle City Hall as "head tax" supporters and opponents prepare for City Council meeting. On the same day, as independent journalist Erica C. Barnett reported, Ballard residents screamed obscenities at local officials who were giving an informational presentation on the proposal. This came after Amazon, headquartered in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood, halted construction on its office expansion project while placing thousands of new jobs in Boston and Vancouver BC.

"Will Amazon unpause Block 18 if $275 passes?" Constantine also said, "I am very concerned the decision being put before us right now is going to harm our attempts to keep jobs and recruit jobs to our region".

While most the most dramatic moments in this saga unfolded over the last couple weeks, today's moment was months in the making.

The tax would begin in 2019 and raise about $48 million a year to pay for affordable housing and homeless services. Council members rejected the tax during budget negotiations, with opposers saying it was too hastily written. This has led to lack of affordable housing for the people especially students who are becoming homeless at an alarming rate and people are spending more than half their income on housing. A new report concluded that it would require about $400 million a year, conservatively, to solve the homelessness crisis in King County.

This is a developing story.

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