Seattle City Council repeals controversial new per-worker tax on large employers

Measure was aimed at raising $50 million for homeless services, affordable housing.

June 18, 2018 |

The Seattle City Council voted 7 to 2 to repeal the recently enacted per-worker tax on large employers aimed at raising money for homeless services and affordable housing.

The tax, which the council passed unanimously, was crafted as an answer to the city’s housing affordability problem that many attribute to rapid growth in the technology industry by the likes of Amazon.com Inc. The council’s reversal comes after a spirited effort to gather signatures to put a repeal question on the November ballot.

The council’s original measure called for a $275 per employee tax. The region reportedly has a homeless population of more than 12,000 people.

Amazon, the city’s top private employer, halted its expansion plans in the city pending the outcome of the vote. Some homeowners were reportedly frustrated by the city’s response to homelessness, which included tents and RVs moving into residential neighborhoods.

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