Seattle Passes Tax on Big Business to Fight Homelessness

Mayor Jenny Durkan attends the Washington Women in Trades job fair at Seattle Center on Friday

Herdener noted that the company, which has embarked on numerous efforts to help alleviate the homeless problem, has resumed its construction on a new 17-floor office tower, which it had paused ahead of the vote.

Monday's $48 million compromise legislation avoids a collision course with a Mayor Jenny Durkan-threatened veto and will implement a $275 per full-time employee tax on companies reporting $20 million or greater in annual "taxable gross receipts", eliminated the proposed transition to a payroll tax, and gives the tax plan a five-year window after which it will be evaluated and will require new legislation to continue.

Under the originally passed proposal, Amazon would have paid an estimated $20 million to $25 million in the first year of the tax.

The so-called "head tax" has been hotly debated in recent weeks at raucous meetings and rallies. "If we had a weaker movement, we could have won less or even nothing".

Amazon and Seattle-based coffeehouse chain Starbucks did not immediately respond to FOX Business's request for comment on the city council's decision.

A broader tax proposal prompted the tech company to halt construction on one Seattle office tower and put off a lease of another tower. Amazon's plans in Seattle after today's vote are not clear.

Sponsors of the tax said Seattle's biggest-earning businesses should bear some burden for easing a shortage in low-priced housing that they helped create by driving up real estate prices to the point where the working poor and many middle-class families can no longer afford to live in the city.

Petrol near five-year high in Delhi, opposition slams it as 'poll
After the revision, petrol is sold at ₹74.80 a litre, while diesel is sold at ₹66.14 a litre in Delhi . Diesel prices are: 66.14 ( Delhi ), 66.68 ( Kolkata ), 70.43 ( Mumbai ) and 69.79 ( Chennai ).

"When we start talking about changing that system that benefits some to make it more fair, there's a lot of resistance", Councilmember Mike O'Brien said during Monday's meeting. "We'll be back for more!"

Currently, the city had 39 providers and 155 contracts in the Homeless Division. With it, frustration over the City Council's response to the homeless crisis grows. United Way of King County spent around $6.5 million in 2017.

"By threatening Seattle over this tax, Amazon is sending a message to all of our cities: we play by our own rules", the letter said. So the city is restricted in how it can raise revenue, and now relies on sales and property taxes as well as a business and occupancy tax.

But the city says homelessness is a moving target. A point-in-time count previous year tallied more than 11,600 homeless people in King County.

Mayor Jenny Durkan said that Seattle now spends about $70 million in annual direct investments to programs that fight homelessness in her first State of the City address. Separately, the company has committed more than $40 million to two groups: the Mary's Place shelters for homeless families, including space in company buildings; and the FareStart non-profit organization for homeless and disadvantaged men, women, and kids, including space and equipment for FareStart restaurants.

The Seattle metropolitan area also is home to the third-largest concentrations of homeless people, nearly 12,000 counted in a January U.S. government survey, and almost half of them were living on the streets or otherwise unsheltered.

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