REPORT: City’s new ‘head tax’ for homelessness blasted by normally liberal Amazon and Starbucks

BY TEAM DML / MAY 15, 2018 /

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A new tax approved by the Seattle City Council has triggered a fierce war of words between the liberal city and its behemoth corporations usually known for their progressive outlook.

Starbucks and Amazon are now blasting the decision to slap a new “head tax” on businesses to pay for homeless services and affordable housing — saying the government’s own lack of efficiency is to blame for the city’s woes.

The article goes on to state the following:

“The city does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending efficiency problem,” Drew Herdener, Amazon vice president, said in a statement. “We are highly uncertain whether the city council’s anti-business positions or its spending inefficiency will change for the better.”

The Seattle City Council on Monday passed a plan to tax businesses making at least $20 million in gross revenues about $275 per full-time worker each year. That “head tax” is estimated to raise about $48 million — which authorities are marking for housing and homeless services.

Fox News also reported:

But the two corporate behemoths reacted angrily to the news. Nearly 600 employers — about 3 percent of all Seattle businesses — would pay the tax starting in 2019. Amazon said it is being forced to question future growth in the city, and noted that revenue was increasing quicker than the population increase.

Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez slammed Amazon, saying “their tone in this message that is clearly hostile toward the city council is not what I expect from a business who continues to tell us that they want to be a partner on these issues.”

Seattle-based Starbucks, which regularly touts its progressive values, accused the council of ignoring the plight of children who have to sleep outside.

“If they cannot provide a warm meal and safe bed to a 5-year-old child, no one believes they will be able to make housing affordable or address opiate addiction,” Starbucks’ John Kelly said in a statement.

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