Do you know what is wrong with a head tax? Most likely, not one penny will be spent on the homeless, as they don’t want to be saved.
Monday the Seattle city council, despite the fact that most were against the tax, approved a pared-down version of the “head tax” on the metro area’s largest employers to fund efforts to battle homelessness despite public criticism from local businesses, including e-commerce giant Amazon.Amazon has already halted plans to expand, which would have created about 20,000 more jobs.
The amended version received a vote of 8-1, and will go into effect in January 2019 and tax companies that earn $20 million or more in annual sales 14 cents per employee hour, or $275 per employee annually. The tax is expected to raise roughly $50 million per year toward outreach efforts for the homeless, including affordable housing and emergency shelter.
Those city council members who voted for the bill, reluctantly agreed to reduce the scope of the bills, which originally called for a tax of 26 cents per employee hour to raise about $75 million annually. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan had vowed to veto the larger tax.
Although supporters said the head tax was necessary to fund efforts to address a housing crisis and rising homelessness in the city, the measure was met with near-universal opposition from businesses, as well as the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
Meanwhile, Amazon vice president and spokesman Drew Herdener said the company is “disappointed” with the Seattle City Council’s decision to impose the tax.
Amazon vice president and spokesman Drew Herdener said the city does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending efficiency problem.