Seattle officially repeals tax on companies like Amazon, Starbucks

Opponents of the head tax at the City Council meeting Monday

City leaders said they plan to repeal a tax on large companies such as Amazon and Starbucks as they face mounting pressure from businesses, an about-face just a month after unanimously approving the measure to help pay for efforts to combat a growing homelessness crisis.

Seattle's city council is backing off the so-called "Amazon tax", dubbed by critics as a "tax on jobs". "Hopefully it's the beginning of something".

The tax, which is now scheduled to take effect in January 2019, amounts to $275 a year per full-time employee of the highest grossing businesses in Seattle. It comes as a group formed by funding from numerous city's largest employers and business groups including the downtown chamber opposing the employee hour tax announced over the weekend it had collected more than the needed signatures required to put a repeal initiative on the ballot.

People against the head tax needed about 17,600 signatures to get the option to repeal the tax on the ballot.

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.

At a rally held before the vote, City Councilmember Kshama Sawant criticized the mayor and railed against the council for considering 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.

"We heard you", the city's statement said.

Monday, Mosqueda said she could not support any repeal that did not include a replacement plan.

"I'm in a position where I will vote to repeal this", said councilmember Mike O'Brien.


Sawant characterized the repeal as a "cowardly betrayal" of working class Seattleites and a "capitulation" to business interests.

"I think we have to understand that the logic of bowing to big business points only in one direction, to a race to the bottom for the rest of us", she said. "If you thought this was going to be easy, if you thought big business was not going to mount a serious campaign of opposition, spread lies and misinformation, then you have been living under a rock".

The council will now be looking at alternative measures to tackle the homeless crisis. "I can not in good conscience vote to repeal this proposal without a replacement", said Mosqueda.

In a long speech that emphasized the importance of consensus-building, Mosqueda implored businesses to work with the city on solutions. "A hollow handshake and a broken promise is not good practice".

Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce head Marilyn Strickland praised the turn of action from the city's leaders.

Advocates for the homeless decried the repeal. "Where will that money come from if we don't have the courage to take it?" said Tim Harris.

"Every day, we turn clients away because we don't have enough beds and we don't have enough staff to provide long-term case management to clients in the system", Andrew Coak, a member of the task force and case manager at the Downtown Emergency Services Center, said in a statement.

A one-night count released last month showed that more than 12,000 people experience homelessness in King County.

And many have offered the internet giant billions in incentives to choose their city for the HQ2 project that would bring about 50,000 jobs to the winning region.

This is a breaking story and will be updated shortly.

Related News:

  • Alec Baldwin: I'd '1,000 percent' win if I ran against Trump

    Alec Baldwin: I'd '1,000 percent' win if I ran against Trump

    Baldwin and Stern had been talking about potential Democrats that could beat Mr. The actor and the president are somewhat connected.
    AT&T, Time Warner Merger Approved by Judge

    AT&T, Time Warner Merger Approved by Judge

    Leon, in his remarks during the ruling , strongly urged the government not seek a stay that would hold up the close of the deal. The merger would create a media and telecommunications powerhouse, reshaping the landscape of those industries.
    Trump's vow to end military drills with Seoul stuns a region

    Trump's vow to end military drills with Seoul stuns a region

    The Pentagon was not immediately able to flesh out Trump's remarks about suspending drills, a move the USA military has long resisted.
  • Salmonella melon recall includes these Georgia stores

    Salmonella melon recall includes these Georgia stores

    The investigation is ongoing to determine if products went to additional stores or states, the agencies said . A Hancock County woman was among those sickened by a multistate salmonella outbreak linked to pre-cut melons.
    Giants' Chris Mara jabs Patriots, Gronkowski after Justify wins Triple Crown

    Giants' Chris Mara jabs Patriots, Gronkowski after Justify wins Triple Crown

    Smith got the colt into a relaxed rhythm under a moderate pace heading into the backstretch, and he had an easy trip from there. Scat Daddy's bloodlines include Canadian-breds Nijinsky (an English Triple Crown champion), Northern Dancer and Storm Bird.
    Trump takes more swipes at Canada and Trudeau after tense G7 summit

    Trump takes more swipes at Canada and Trudeau after tense G7 summit

    The former Conservative prime minister said that while he believes the dispute is serious, that doesn't make it "lethal". Pre-summit reports from the White House suggested that the president even considered skipping the summit altogether.
  • Toronto Raptors to hire Nick Nurse as head coach

    In charge of the Raptors' offence, Nurse played a pivotal role in successfully reinventing the way the team played last season. He is the school's all-time 3-point percentage leader with.468 (170 of 363). "I know where we started".
    Springboks Schalk Brits recalled England Test Bloemfontein

    Springboks Schalk Brits recalled England Test Bloemfontein

    The new World Rugby rankings have been released and it's not good news for England. It could have gone bad really for us. "I was worried‚" said Erasmus.

    Dennis Rodman Tears Up While Discussing Trump's Meeting with Kim Jong

    In 2014, Mr Trump tweeted dismissively about the possibility that he and Rodman would someday travel to North Korea together . Rodman sang "Happy Birthday" at the time to Kim and seemed unaware of that nation's very bad human rights record.
  • Austin Dillon wins rain-shortened race in MI

    Austin Dillon wins rain-shortened race in MI

    The preceding Xfinity Series qualifying session was also canceled after a rain delay. "It was uncharacteristic for him". As Stewart-Haas Racing had a one-two-three finish in the race, for the first time ever.
    Domino's Pizza Unveils U.S. Infrastructure Project Filling Potholes

    Domino's Pizza Unveils U.S. Infrastructure Project Filling Potholes

    Finally Domino's Pizza Inc.is addressing a major concern of drivers who hit potholes: pizza jostling. It brands the fixed potholes with a Domino's logo and the tagline "Oh yes we did".
    Neymar lands in Russia, Messi casts doubt over World Cup future

    Neymar lands in Russia, Messi casts doubt over World Cup future

    Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring for Brazil during Sunday's 3-0 win over Austria . "Dreaming is not forbidden". However, he was a different player in Vienna and managed to score his 10th goal in 17 games for Brazil .


Most liked

Trump ‘can’t jump ahead’ in North Korea negotiations: Leon Panetta
President Donald Trump rocked the region with the stunning announcement Tuesday that he was halting annual U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in an interview last week.

Claire Underwood in House of Cards' final season: See new photos
They don't reveal a release date, but they do say the season will come out later this year, hinting at a fall release. The series was created by Beau Willimon and is produced by Donen/Fincher/Roth, with MRC as the studio, for Netflix.

WH adviser Navarro apologizes for 'special place in hell' slam at Trudeau
A spokeswoman for Trudeau, Eleanore Catenaro, declined to comment on Navarro's acknowledgement of a mistake. Trump revoked his administration's support for the G7 communique after Trudeau's news conference.

Rose McGowan Indicted By Grand Jury In Cocaine Possession Case!
Rose McGowan was indicted for cocaine possession by a grand jury on Monday and sis could face up to 10 years in prison. Rose McGowan has been indicted by a grand jury in her ongoing cocaine possession case, and she has pleaded not guilty.

Officer rescues toddler running along busy road in heart-stopping video
When Mannino first saw the figure on the busy highway, he says he thought it was some kind of animal, according to WGN . However, the boy keeps running, forcing Mannino into a full sprint to catch up.

Fortnite On Switch Has Built-In Voice Chat, No App Required
Killer Queen is a multiplayer, arcade-style game that has teams of five players squaring off in a Joust-style combat. Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime said the game would incorporate its battle royale mode and would be available at 1 p.m.

Salah still a doubt for SWC opener against Uruguay
Egypt have played down the claims made by forward Mohamed Salah that he will be ready for their first match at the World Cup against Uruguay .

Kevin Durant says he would consider retiring at 35
In a Lee Jenkins profile for Sports Illustrated , Durant revealed that he wasn't prepared for the series opener. But the Warriors' "light years" lead on the court is shrinking - down to mere light seconds.

President Trump Is Still Very Angry With Canada's PM Justin Trudeau
He said ongoing US overproduction in the dairy industry is to blame for the American dairy industry's current economic challenges. Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said her country "does not conduct its diplomacy through ad hominem attacks".

Priyanka Chopra arm in arm with Nick Jonas
They first came together when they posed for photos on the red carpet together in Ralph Lauren designs at the 2017 Met Gala. According to the sources, Jonas also introduced Chopra to his older brother Kevin and his wife Danielle.

Spain boss Lopetegui to take Real reins after World Cup
He previously had a spell as manager of Porto , as well as with the Spanish national youth team set-up and at Real's B team. In May, he signed a two-year extension to remain as Spain coach until 2020 but the call of Madrid has proved stronger.

Canada's FM slams U S attacks on trade, diplomacy
Trump's behavior at the G-7 summit was criticized by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers as being antagonistic of US allies. "And I see the television, and he's giving a news conference about how he will not be pushed around by the United States".

Kim Jong Un commits to ‘complete denuclearization’ after meeting with Trump
Trump described the exercises as "very provocative " and said Pyongyang "very much appreciated" seeing the exercises end. USA forces in South Korea were also apparently clueless as to the decision to suspend the military exercises.

Deontay Wilder agrees to fight Anthony Joshua in world heavyweight unification fight
Hearn did not respond to text messages from ESPN seeking comment, but it was late at night in England at the time. We've got to speak to them about what date suits them. "Deontay wants this fight".

Real Madrid in for £150 million rated Manchester United target
Fellaini's height and physicality are his biggest strengths, and United boss Jose Mourinho values such qualities in his players. The Lazio star is attracting interest from a number of European heavyweights after an impressive season in Serie A.