Sawant joined activist in rallying support for the policy, including using city resources to print fliers emblazoned with "Tax Amazon" to bill the head tax on corporations. Per city officials around 600 firms would qualify for the head tax or employee hours tax.
Median rents have doubled since 2010, according to real estate firm Zillow, and the area has the third highest homeless population in the nation, according to USA government statistics.
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"The battle lines on this issue were more starkly drawn than they have been on numerous other progressive issues that the Seattle city council has pushed in recent years", Nelson told TheDCNF, adding the head tax drew opposition from many divergent interests in the city. "We are highly uncertain whether the city council's anti-business positions or its spending inefficiency will change for the better".
Amazon, one of the largest employers in Seattle, has opposed the new tax from the start. It's a company, after all, that paid zero dollars in federal income taxes on $5.6 billion in revenue previous year.
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"We must make urgent progress on our affordability and homelessness crisis", Durkan said in a statement Wednesday. Thanks to politicians' sympathetic ear when it comes to the plight of the rich, Amazon will pocket an estimated $789 million this year, easily offsetting the $10 million it'll pay Seattle to improve the city it calls home. Companies argue that the measure is a tax on jobs and will stunt a booming local economy. Amazon, with 45,000 workers, would take the biggest hit.
"I think you are seeing folks in Seattle who are not conservative by any stretch finally starting to question just how far left the city council has gone", Nelson said.
Amazon criticized the new tax in a blistering statement from vice president Drew Herdener.
Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez responded that she was "equally disappointed" with Amazon's reaction to the council's vote and said she thinks "their tone in this message that is clearly hostile toward the city council is not what I expect from a business who continues to tell us that they want to be a partner on these issues".
John Boufford with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades said he did not understand the rhetoric against Amazon, which he noted provides good jobs for thousands of people. They tend to say what they're going to do and then do it. "I'm confused about why the city of Seattle is fostering an adversarial relationship with businesses in this city".