Seattle Fights Homeslessness and Amazon Fights Back

Seattle has imposed a new tax that may have it’s largest companies and employers running for the hills. The new tax is set to charge large companies a high amount per employee to address the city’s homelessness issue. The money gained from the tax will go towards services for the homeless and for affordable housing projects. The tax will only affect companies that make more than 20 million US per year.
Companies like Amazon – which was founded in Seattle and is the world’s second largest company – and Starbucks have threatened to halt growth in the city in response. Amazon has even halted the construction of it’s newest high rise in the city in protest.
Starbucks has also intensely critiqued the new tax, which can be read about in detail here.
Because of protest from these companies and a few others, the city has already lowered the tax from a proposed $500 per employee to $275 per employee, per year. With the amount of employees at Amazon, $10 million alone within the expected $45 million to $50 million total revenue would come from the mega-successful company.
While Amazon doesn’t think this should be their responsibility, campaigners of the tax don’t agree. Supporters of the tax say that Amazons rapid growth in Seattle had consequences in the form of rapid incline in cost of living, leaving tons of residents in their dust. They believe that Amazon should be aware of this and do their part in fixing the problem, seeing as their company and founder are some of the wealthiest in the world.
Despite the resistance, the tax was voted in unanimously. The next few years will prove to tell if the tax will truly improve Seattle’s homeless crisis.

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