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Seattle just killed the 'Amazon tax' it passed four weeks ago

Seattle's controversial new "Amazon tax" was repealed Tuesday, a mere month after the City Council passed it unanimou...

Posted: Jun 14, 2018 9:32 AM
Updated: Jun 14, 2018 9:32 AM

Seattle's controversial new "Amazon tax" was repealed Tuesday, a mere month after the City Council passed it unanimously.

It was killed in response to public pressure from No Tax on Jobs, a business-backed referendum campaign.

The campaign has already collected more than twice the number of signatures required to let voters decide on the November ballot whether to reject the tax, according to Tim Ceis, a general consultant to the campaign.

Several City Council members who had supported the so-called head tax nevertheless voted to repeal it because, as one said, "We don't have the time or resources to change enough minds to be successful at the polls in November."

Progressives portrayed the repeal as a "capitulation" to big business interests.

Amazon, Starbucks and the Northwest Grocery Association are among the biggest backers of the campaign.

Related: Will these California cities impose a 'Google tax' or an 'Apple tax'?

The tax, which had been scheduled to take effect in January 2019, amounted to $275 a year per full-time employee of the highest grossing businesses in Seattle. It would have raised roughly $47 million a year on average and expired after five years.

The revenue was intended to help fight the city's homelessness and affordable housing problems. Seattle's lack of an income tax narrows the city council's options in terms of how to raise money for public policy efforts.

There is as yet no replacement proposal on the table for how to fund the building of more permanent housing that the city needs.

During the council's special public meeting, the actual vote to repeal was nearly drowned out by loud chants of "We are ready to fight. Housing is a human right!" and "Stop the repeal!" by groups who fought for the head tax for months.

Organizers of the referendum campaign argue that the city already spends a lot of money on homelessness with few positive results. Their preference is for Seattle to join with other cities in King County, Washington, to combat the problem and to reform the existing system of how services are provided, Ceis said.

In the wake of Seattle's original passage of its head tax, a number of cities in Silicon Valley have been contemplating head taxes of their own to combat traffic congestion and other transportation problems that have arisen as the tech sector dominating the area has grown.

It's not immediately clear if the sudden repeal will dampen those efforts.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 331863

Reported Deaths: 7494
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22855279
Hinds22625437
Harrison19462326
Rankin14765286
Jackson14233251
Madison10658227
Lee10398178
Jones8713169
Forrest8164157
Lauderdale7528243
Lowndes6761150
Lamar665988
Lafayette6446124
Washington5497139
Bolivar4907134
Pearl River4889149
Oktibbeha476898
Panola4719112
Marshall4648106
Warren4612125
Pontotoc438873
Monroe4243137
Union424379
Neshoba4179180
Lincoln4088115
Hancock402788
Leflore3562125
Pike3511111
Tate348988
Alcorn343174
Sunflower342293
Adams331987
Yazoo330573
Scott330175
Simpson313690
Copiah311467
Itawamba309580
Coahoma308285
Tippah298368
Prentiss292563
Covington280183
Marion278980
Leake277975
Wayne269942
Grenada265688
George259851
Newton256064
Tishomingo235769
Winston235084
Jasper225748
Attala220373
Chickasaw215960
Stone209137
Holmes194974
Clay191554
Tallahatchie181542
Clarke181480
Calhoun177332
Smith175334
Yalobusha169240
Walthall140448
Lawrence137026
Greene134934
Amite131843
Noxubee131135
Perry130838
Montgomery130644
Carroll124531
Webster116732
Jefferson Davis112934
Tunica110827
Benton104425
Claiborne104231
Kemper100329
Humphreys99033
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw80919
Wilkinson73232
Jefferson69028
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 565510

Reported Deaths: 11468
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson828061584
Mobile44938853
Madison36534532
Tuscaloosa26589465
Shelby26409255
Montgomery25598623
Baldwin23319324
Lee16691179
Calhoun15030332
Morgan14877288
Etowah14563368
Marshall12723235
Houston11302292
Elmore10576217
St. Clair10449251
Limestone10420158
Cullman10198204
Lauderdale9883253
DeKalb9226191
Talladega8705187
Walker7545286
Autauga7388113
Jackson7216117
Blount7147139
Colbert6522142
Coffee5962131
Dale5224117
Russell463942
Chilton4603117
Covington4502125
Franklin439781
Tallapoosa4343156
Escambia414782
Chambers3813124
Dallas3674163
Clarke361562
Marion3354106
Pike323179
Lawrence3176101
Winston289672
Bibb276165
Geneva267383
Marengo257367
Barbour241860
Pickens238862
Butler233571
Hale230578
Fayette223863
Henry203345
Cherokee192347
Randolph192244
Monroe190241
Washington174539
Macon167252
Crenshaw163457
Clay161859
Cleburne158445
Lamar149138
Lowndes143854
Wilcox128431
Bullock125342
Conecuh117730
Coosa115229
Perry109628
Sumter107532
Greene95935
Choctaw63125
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