Friday, 16 November, 2018

Seattle backs away from employee tax due to business opposition

Image Hayat Norimine Image Hayat Norimine
Nellie Chapman | 16 June, 2018, 02:12

Seattle planned to tax businesses making at least $20 million in gross revenues about $275 per full-time worker each year, using the new tax revenue to fight homelessness.

With about 40,000 employees, Amazon would have had to pay $11 million in 2019 under the tax, according to the report. The original tax plan was even worse, calling for a head tax of $500 per employee. The region saw 169 homeless deaths previous year. The city council had passed the tax unanimously a few weeks ago.

"It gives the idea that we have a superior association with our business than Seattle does", Siegel said.

A tax on expansive organizations, for example, Amazon that was meant to fight a developing vagrancy emergency got moved back amid a boisterous SeattleCity Council meeting that uncovered divisions over how much organizations that have powered blasting economies should assist pay with alleviating the drawbacks of achievement.

"We can not wait months or until next year for another proposal or process while people are sleeping in our parks and on our streets", she said in a statement.

Seattle has already spent over a billion dollars on homeless programs, with nothing to show for it, he adds.

ALICEA: Head tax proponents spoke about the urgency of the homelessness crisis.

It's possible the money wouldn't have been extra: It could have plugged a future hole in the budget instead. Though Seattle has greatly increased its spending on homelessness in recent years, the problem has only grown. With a depleted general fund projected to sink into the red, the city needed to find money just to stay afloat.

Other critics claimed that the city was focused on helping the wrong people with the revenue it expected to earn from the head tax. "We should have the confidence we can change the minds of other working people like ourselves", she said. "Not those people in tents, crapping on my street, dropping needles".

Organizations and inhabitants requested greater responsibility in how Seattle stored vagrancy and lodging and said the city should adopt a local strategy to the issue.

Pro-tax activists launched their own campaign against the referendum efforts. A contradicting bunch held "No assessment on employment" signs.

Their about-face comes after Amazon and Starbucks led a $200,000 signature-gathering referendum campaign to get the law overturned.

"The people signing these ..." For NPR News, I'm Simone Alicea in Seattle. "I think they blame it all on the City Council".

But those opposed to the tax called it a "tax on job creation".

"From day one, the Seattle Metro Chamber has been clear that a tax on jobs is not the way to address the regional homelessness crisis", President and CEO Marilyn Strickland said in a statement Monday.

Councilwoman Lisa Herbold explained to NBC that she voted for repeal rather than engaging in a political fight she described as "not winnable at this particular time", noting that "the opposition has unlimited resources".