Tuesday, May 15, 2018
New York Times, Seattle Scales Back Tax in Face of Amazon’s Revolt, but Tensions Linger:
After intense lobbying by local businesses and a bold threat by Amazon to curtail development in its hometown, the Seattle City Council on Monday approved a smaller and more limited tax on big companies than originally envisioned.
The new tax — dubbed the “Amazon Tax” by locals — will fund affordable housing and homeless services in a city whose economic boom, driven in no small part by Amazon, has priced many residents out of the area and forced some onto the streets. ...
The council had originally considered an annual “head” tax of $500 per full-time employee for Amazon and other large employers, but the amended measure that passed reduced that figure to $275. Instead of the $75 million a year the tax was originally expected to raise, it will bring in less than $50 million. The council also included a sunset provision that would require the tax to be reauthorized in five years.
The compromise failed to defuse tensions between Amazon and the city it has called home for the last 24 years.