Seattle’s city government has backed down from a proposed corporate tax increase that would rely on the city’s employers to foot a large portion of the bill to combat the area’s growing homelessness crisis.
Amazon.com Inc. (Seattle) and its founder Jeff Bezos lead the rally against the taxation, and they were joined by other area businesses, including Starbucks (Seattle). Opponents called for city leaders to reevaluate current spending to determine where current resources were being spent. Amazon threatened to cancel its upcoming new headquarters building in the city, and even went as far as to halt construction.
The proposed taxes would have charged companies about $275 per full-time worker each year, and raise roughly $48 million per year for affordable housing and homeless services, according to CNBC. The Seattle region had the third-highest number of homeless individuals last year in the U.S.