Seattle to strike affordable housing tax after Amazon-led coalition’s prolonged protest

Axed head tax was meant to pay for homeless services and affordable housing

TRD New York TRD WEEKEND EDITION /
Jun.June 16, 2018 12:04 PM

(Credit: Seattle Municipal Archives, Steve Jurvetson)

Jeff Bezos wasn’t about to let a head tax on Amazon’s 45,000 employees take a chunk out of his bottom-line.

Led by Amazon, a coalition of Seattle companies banded together to successfully oppose a new tax of about $275 per employee for any business that generated more than $20 million in revenue per year, according to CNBC. (When the city initially proposed the tax, it was pegged at $500 per employee, however Amazon’s outcry prompted City Council to then lower the tax.)

After a month of ongoing debates and the business coalition’s fundraising campaign to repeal the tax through a referendum that would have taken place in November, local lawmakers announced their intention to repeal the measure themselves. Councilwoman Kshama Sawant later tweeted the decision “is a capitulation to bullying by Amazon,” according to CNBC.

The result: the loss of roughly $48 million funding, which Seattle City Council had earmarked to pay for affordable housing and homeless services. The city has the third-largest rate of homelessness in the country and soaring home prices, which have doubled since Amazon made Seattle its home, that dovetails with the city’s shortage of housing stock to create a full-blown crisis by local accounts.

The news comes amid Amazon’s ongoing hunt for a second headquarters. The company’s response to Seattle’s move to try to create the head tax, which included threats and even a work stoppage on one of its new office buildings, was concerning to at least one city still in the running to win the new mega-office, Denver. [CNBC]Erin Hudson


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
With a cooling trade war, stocks perform well, including real estate. (Credit: iStock)

Real estate stocks push up this week as U.S.-China trade tensions ease

Real estate stocks push up this week as U.S.-China trade tensions ease
416 West 25th Street and Maverick Real Estate Partners principal David Aviram (Credit: Google Maps and LinkedIn)

Chelsea landlord claims “predatory” lender is charging a crippling interest rate as punishment after losing foreclosure case

Chelsea landlord claims “predatory” lender is charging a crippling interest rate as punishment after losing foreclosure case
A rendering of 165 Broome Street (Credit: Handel Architects)

Nonprofit plans affordable housing development near Essex Crossing

Nonprofit plans affordable housing development near Essex Crossing
(iStock)

Yes in God’s Backyard: How building affordable housing could be a lifeline for churches

Yes in God’s Backyard: How building affordable housing could be a lifeline for churches
Hong Kong

Foreign firms are vacating Hong Kong offices like never before

Foreign firms are vacating Hong Kong offices like never before
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty, Wikimedia)

Landlords challenge city laws protecting non-paying businesses

Landlords challenge city laws protecting non-paying businesses
Texas Republican Rep. Nicholas Van Taylor (Getty, iStock)

Congressman pitching high-risk lifeline for CRE

Congressman pitching high-risk lifeline for CRE
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Dr. Oxiris Barbot (Getty, iStock)

Day care — and its landlords — get a lifeline

Day care — and its landlords — get a lifeline
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...