Monday/ Seattle’s new ‘head’ tax

The Seattle City Council passed a controversial ‘head’ tax on large businesses in the city today (a tax per employee, instead of a payroll tax).  The tax is about half of the original proposed amount, and will sunset in 2024. It is meant to address homelessness and affordable housing.

The Downtown Seattle Association (business association) does not support it, though*, and Amazon is still not happy about it, either.  However, Amazon will resume construction on a building that it had halted, to protest the much larger head tax that was originally proposed.

*Nor do residents, with only 38% in support of the tax, per a poll by a local TV station.  Critics – and Amazon – point out that the City of Seattle revenues have grown dramatically from $2.8 billion in 2010 to $4.2 billion in 2017, and will be even higher in 2018. Why is this not enough?

Here’s the scene at the Amazon biospheres when I walked by there late on Sunday. On the left is the tower called ‘Block 20’, part of the downtown Amazon headquarters complex. Its construction now up to about 20 floors. It will be 37 floors tall when done. (This is not the building on which construction was stopped because of the head tax).

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