Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Battle Over Seattle’s ‘Amazon Tax’ Isn’t Actually Over

The CityLab reports:
Last month, Seattle passed a controversial new tax on businesses to fund affordable housing and homeless initiatives in the city. The bill became known as the “Amazon tax,” because of threats by Amazon to halt new construction if the tax passed, but many other companies, too, warned that it would stifle business development in the city.

By the time the City Council voted on it, the tax had shrunk to almost half the size of the original proposal. Still, with its passage, the city was guaranteed to net an extra $47 million a year; Amazon promised it would resume construction; and activists declared victory. But the story hasn’t ended there.

Days after the tax’s passage, Amazon and several other companies including Seattle-based Starbucks quietly poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a campaign to revoke the tax by a citywide vote, potentially drawing out the battle at least until November.

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