FOX: The Seattle City Council on Monday approved a pared-down version of the “head tax” on the metro area’s largest employers to fund efforts to battle homelessness despite public criticism from local businesses, including e-commerce giant Amazon.
Approved by a vote of 8-1 on the amended version, the measure will go into effect in January 2019 and tax companies that earn $20 million or more in annual sales 14 cents per employee hour, or $275 per employee annually. The tax is expected to raise roughly $50 million per year toward outreach efforts for the homeless, including affordable housing and emergency shelter.
Proponents on the city council reluctantly agreed to reduce the scope of the bills, which originally called for a tax of 26 cents per employee hour to raise about $75 million annually. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan had vowed to veto the larger tax.
While supporters said the head tax was necessary to fund efforts to address a housing crisis and rising homelessness in the city, the measure was met with near-universal opposition from businesses, as well as the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. more here