Seat­tle re­peals tax af­ter Ama­zon fights back

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - Obituaries/from The Front Page -

Seat­tle lead­ers re­pealed a tax on large com­pa­nies such as Ama­zon and Star­bucks af­ter a back­lash from busi­nesses, a stark rev­er­sal from a month ago when the City Coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved the ef­fort to com­bat a grow­ing home­less­ness cri­sis.

The coun­cil voted 7-2 af­ter sup­port­ers and op­po­nents packed a meet­ing with signs say­ing, “Tax Ama­zon, hous­ing for all” and “No tax on jobs,” with some shout­ing for more time to dis­cuss the is­sue.

The vote showed Ama­zon’s abil­ity to ag­gres­sively push back on gov­ern­ment taxes, es­pe­cially in its af­flu­ent home­town where it’s the largest em­ployer and where some have crit­i­cized it for help­ing cul­ti­vate a widen­ing in­come gap that is pric­ing lower-in­come work­ers out of hous­ing.

The tax was pro­posed as a pro­gres­sive rev­enue source aimed at tack­ling one of the na­tion’s high­est home­less­ness num­bers, a prob­lem that hasn’t eased even as city spend­ing on the is­sue grew.

Busi­nesses and res­i­dents de­manded more ac­count­abil­ity in how Seat­tle funds home­less­ness and hous­ing and said it should take a re­gional ap­proach to the prob­lem. Many wor­ried that Ama­zon and oth­ers would leave the city, with con­struc­tion work­ers in hard hats and safety pack­ing City Hall to ob­ject to the tax.

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