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Old 06-12-2018, 05:23 PM  
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Seattle repeals ‘head tax’ after backlash from Amazon, Starbucks

The Seattle City Council on Tuesday voted 7-2 to repeal a “head tax” on the city’s largest employers, granting a surprise victory to corporate giants such as Amazon and Starbucks just weeks after the council unanimously approved the measure.

The vote took place at a special meeting called by Council President Bruce Harrell and six other members of the nine-person Seattle City Council. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan also supported a repeal.

The council struggled to conduct the vote at the meeting’s conclusion as protestors chanted “stop the repeal,” drowning out councilmembers as they attempted to cast their ballot. Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, who cast one of two votes opposing the repeal, said the council was “bending to big business” and referred to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as an “enemy” of Seattle.

Originally passed on May 14, the measure required companies with annual revenue of $20 million or more to contribute $275 per employee annually toward efforts to combat widespread homelessness in Seattle. At the time, the city council said the “head tax” would raise about $50 million per year toward the development of affordable housing, homeless shelters and other outreach efforts.


“Today’s vote by the Seattle City Council to repeal the tax on job creation is the right decision for the region’s economic prosperity,” Amazon vice president and spokesman Drew Herdener said in a statement. “We are deeply committed to being part of the solution to end homelessness in Seattle and will continue to invest in local nonprofits like Mary’s Place and FareStart that are making a difference on this important issue.”

The head tax drew widespread opposition from local business advocates and several major corporations, including Amazon, Seattle’s largest employer. Critics argued the tax would discourage investment in the city and place an undue burden on companies that were already paying a fair share of taxes. The measure's supporters said large employers should pay the head tax because their presence in the city contributed to the rising cost of living.

“We welcome this move by the City Council and believe the best path forward is to implement the reforms recommended two years ago by the city’s own homelessness expert,” Starbucks senior vice president of public affairs John Kelly said in a statement. “Starbucks remains a committed partner to government officials, business leaders, and family service providers. Together we must work to bring families inside, once and for all.”

“No Tax on Jobs,” an organization that advocated for a repeal of the tax, told GeekWire Tuesday that it had amassed more than 45,000 signatures on a petition calling for the measure to be considered in a public referendum if it was not overturned. Amazon and Starbucks, which is also headquartered in Seattle, each provided funding to the organization.


The measure would have cost Amazon an estimated $12.4 million each year. The e-commerce giant employs roughly 45,000 workers in Seattle.

Last month, Amazon and Starbucks criticized the head tax in the hours after its passage. Other large businesses in the area, including Nordstrom, Boeing and Microsoft, did not comment publicly.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/...azon-starbucks
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:25 PM   #2
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Even lefty SJW Shultz of Starbucks complained? He has some traits worth saving.
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:28 PM   #3
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Taxing jobs is peak Seattle.
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:30 PM   #4
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Only Seattle would try to impose a tax on head.
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:33 PM   #5
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Even lefty SJW Shultz of Starbucks complained? He has some traits worth saving.
The city council played at being in charge then found out who their bosses were. The people and the producers.

"Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who sided with the majority, said she felt like weeping but would vote to repeal because the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce had somehow persuaded “the vast majority” of voters to oppose the tax.

“This is not a winnable battle at this time … The opposition has unlimited resources,” Herbold said, drawing shouts and boos from some in the crowd.

For city leaders, the vote amounts to an embarrassing about-face. Only a few weeks ago, Durkan and council members hailed the tax as an important step in Seattle responding to a homelessness state of emergency declared back in 2015.

Tuesday’s action represents a victory for Amazon and the other big businesses that would have paid the tax and have been funding the campaign to qualify a referendum for the November ballot. In a statement, Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener called the move “the right decision for the region’s economic prosperity.”

But the vote is a blow for the social-justice activists and homeless-services providers who spent months pushing for the tax, citing the severity of Seattle’s homeless crisis.

Councilmember Kshama Sawant, at a rally beforehand, called the repeal a “cowardly betrayal” of working people. She and Teresa Mosqueda stood alone in voting against the repeal. The roll call was drowned out by chanting in the crowd.

During the council’s sometimes-raucous meeting, Sawant condemned the action as coming with “lightning speed” and with “zero accountability” to activists and people struggling with the housing crisis. “Bending to big business,” she called it.


https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle...ig-businesses/
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:59 PM   #6
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This should send a message to all the corporate haters like Sawant that they will face a tidal wave of reason that will bury their efforts to demonize corporations and their income distribution schemes to confiscate money from some to hand out to those who have done nothing to help themselves.

Herbold's professional experience includes working as a community organizer with Syracuse United Neighbors, in the Seattle office for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).....these bottom feeders need to be exposed for the phonies they are.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:16 PM   #7
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Put the homeless people in jail or an institution that can service their mental needs or move them out of town. Or get them a job. It amazes me how people seattle for mediocrity. The hilarious part is the politicians... If it was the right idea a couple of months ago, what changed? All the city council showed is they have no backbone or principles and the people sitting on it are only interested in keeping their jobs as public servants.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:22 PM   #8
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Only did this because it was coming up on a popular referendum which would keep it in the public eye and the Seattle city council was in danger of losing their jobs if the public kept getting reminded of it. They even lost the private sector unions.

I also wonder why the media didn't point out that Sawant is a honest to god Marxist-Leninist true believer.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:23 PM   #9
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ronnie123 1 hour ago
Is it just me, or does no one on the city council understand that you could build 50 thousand low-income /no-income housing for the homeless, but then 60 thousand will need housing, and on, and on. Do they live in some sort of fantasy-world where the tap just shuts off once they fleece everyone who works for a living?



Who pays when the next wave of homeless hit "Freeattle?" (Free for homeless- not me- I work for a living and pay up the you-know what just to eke out a living here.)
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:25 PM   #10
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ronnie123 1 hour ago
Is it just me, or does no one on the city council understand that you could build 50 thousand low-income /no-income housing for the homeless, but then 60 thousand will need housing, and on, and on. Do they live in some sort of fantasy-world where the tap just shuts off once they fleece everyone who works for a living?



Who pays when the next wave of homeless hit "Freeattle?" (Free for homeless- not me- I work for a living and pay up the you-know what just to eke out a living here.)
Being a politician means you ignore the iron laws of life. One of them being 'You get more of what you reward' if you reward the homeless for being homeless you will get more of them.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:25 PM   #11
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@user1016463 No, sorry, it's not due to the power of "big money". More Seattleites than not just recognize it's a bad idea, and are tired of the city taxing, taxing, taxing and going on sprees like teenagers with dad's car keys, but not being able to properly manage a city budget and deliver basic services and infrastructure properly. They have no coherent plan, they just want to throw money at problems, even after being told by one of their hired consultants that money was NOT the problem.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:28 PM   #12
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So Howard Schultz and Jeff Bezos the Leftists are not so Leftist and Socialist with their OWN company's money.

I thought they were all about equality and diversity and helping out the downtrodden?
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:20 AM   #13
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Being a politician means you ignore the iron laws of life. One of them being 'You get more of what you reward' if you reward the homeless for being homeless you will get more of them.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:25 AM   #14
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That’s why I live on the east side of the state. I’ll check out the Chiefs Seahawks game this upcoming season than get the hell out of that shithole as fast as possible. You can smell those stinky bums as soon as you enter that city.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:53 AM   #15
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Put the homeless people in jail or an institution that can service their mental needs or move them out of town. Or get them a job. It amazes me how people seattle for mediocrity. The hilarious part is the politicians... If it was the right idea a couple of months ago, what changed? All the city council showed is they have no backbone or principles and the people sitting on it are only interested in keeping their jobs as public servants.

When I was a kid - back in the dark ages - there were few "bums". Why? In those days there were "vagrancy laws". If you were stopped by the Police, couldn't produce ID and didn't have a certain amount of money on you ($25) you were ran out of town.

And when did it become the prevue of ANY municipality to "get someone a job"?
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