City council will add to the homeless problem when Amazon and others pull out of Seattle. Update to this story.


The Seattle City Council on Monday approved a controversial but compromise head tax on large businesses to pay for programs for the homeless.

The tax would raise about $50 million a year – less than the original proposal of $75 million but more than the $40 million that Mayor Jenny Durkan had proposed.

The tax passed in an 8-1 vote on an amendment, but several councilmembers said they believed a higher tax was needed. They said the higher tax would face a veto by Durkan.

Only Councilmember Kshama Sawant voted against the amendment, but then later voted yes on the final proposal .[…]

The tax would will expire in five years.

It wasn’t immediately clear how Amazon will react to the new, lower tax.

The Downtown Seattle Associated applauded Durkan’s efforts to lower the tax but said “a tax on jobs at any level is bad economic policy and will negatively impact Seattle’s economy and city tax revenues.”

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