Seattle City Council unanimously votes to tax largest businesses to help house and help the homeless

The Seattle City Council has made a strong statement, voting unanimously to tax companies based in Seattle that pull in more than $20 million a year. While this was not the tax originally proposed, it’s still a step and statement of resolve by elected officials.

In the end, the approved employee hours tax, or head tax, was a compromise between members of the council and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.

The approved bill calls for a $275 tax per employee, per year on companies grossing more than $20 million in Seattle. That is down from the original bill, which called for a $500 per employee head tax. On Friday, Mayor Durkan signaled she would veto the original bill.

The approved legislation also included a sunset clause after five years, with renewal requiring a council vote in 2023.

This comes after Amazon tried bullying the city by abruptly halting a big building project. It was a bully move and while it spooked Seattle Mayor Durkan enough to push for a lower tax, it did not stop the City Council from voting to force Amazon and companies like Amazon to put their money where it should go—back into the communities that allow people like Jeff Bezos to play with spaceships.

According to City officials they hope that this tax will bring in around 48 million a year to be used for more affordable housing and homeless services.

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