Seattle repeals a big business tax after a strong-arm from Amazon 

Amazon led a coalition of businesses to overturn a ‘big business’ tax in Seattle that would’ve raised $48m for the homeless.

June 13, 2018

It’s Amazon’s world, Seattle’s just living in it.

Only a month after passing a new head tax on large companies in an effort to fight the growing homelessness crisis in the area, Seattle city leaders have now repealed it.

Together, Amazon and the coalition of business leaders, including Starbucks, collectively raised $285k in just a few weeks to gather the signatures needed to challenge the new tax, and, well… 

This is (corporate) America

The tax would’ve hit the 585 businesses that generate more than $20m in revenue with a $275-per-employee tax — and raise roughly $48m a year for affordable housing and homeless services in a city that has the 3rd highest homelessness rate in the US.

However, a study commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce reportedly found the tax would have cost Seattle over 14k jobs and $3.5B in economic output. 

Take note, HQ2ers…

This tax debate comes as 20 cities desperately try to lure Amazon’s HQ2 into their economies — leading to lavish offers of tax breaks and incentives to get those promised 10k jobs.

But, let Seattle’s quick surrender be a lesson to prospective cities — be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.

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