Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signaled this week that her administration was seeking a “repeal” of the so-called “homeless tax” over mounting public pressure and a major pushback from local businesses.
The Mayor and at least seven of nine city council members are hard at work on slashing the burdensome tax, which fined businesses earning a specific amount of profit to help finance the city’s exploding homeless population.
“It is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis,” said a statement from the Mayor’s office. “These challenges can only be addressed together as a city, and as importantly, as a state and a region.”
“While a vote may go forward to repeal the tax, our homelessness and housing affordability crisis gets worse,” Council member Teresa Mosqueda said. “We have people who are dying on the doorsteps of prosperity, and our neighbors and friends worry about being able to afford to live in the City while we have a booming economy.”
Leading the charge against the tax was Seattle-based Starbucks and Amazon, two of the nation’s largest corporations who would have been forced to may $275 per employee to help raise funds for the city’s homeless.
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