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Amazon and Starbucks blast Seattle tax to fight homelessness

Amazon and Starbucks have hit out at a decision to impose a new tax on firms based in Seattle to help fight homelessness. Amazon, the US city’s number one employer, said the levy could put future expansion on hold in the region.

Seattle City Council voted unanimously for the tax, saying it will raise $47m (£35m) to tackle a housing affordability crisis due to a recent economic boom.But local firms say it will kill jobs.”We remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses,” said Amazon’s vice president Drew Herdener following the vote.”[It] forces us to question our growth here.”

And Starbucks said: “This City continues to spend without reforming and fail without accountability.”The tax will apply to companies with annual sales of least $20m a year, working out at about $275 annually for each worker.The money will be spent on building more affordable housing and support services for the homeless.Supporters of the tax cite data showing Seattle’s median home prices have soared to $820,000, and more than 41% of renters are classed as “rent-burdened”. That means they spend around a third of their income on housing.

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Amazon and Starbucks blast Seattle tax to fight homelessness

Amazon and Starbucks have hit out at a decision to impose a new tax on firms based in Seattle to help fight homelessness. Amazon, the US city’s number one employer, said the levy could put future expansion on hold in the region.

Seattle City Council voted unanimously for the tax, saying it will raise $47m (£35m) to tackle a housing affordability crisis due to a recent economic boom.But local firms say it will kill jobs.”We remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses,” said Amazon’s vice president Drew Herdener following the vote.”[It] forces us to question our growth here.”