U.S. west coast city repeals head tax on Amazon-like big companies

2018-06-13 01:37:11 GMT2018-06-13 09:37:11(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

SAN FRANCISCO, June 12 (Xinhua) -- The Seattle City Council in the U.S. west state of Washington on Tuesday voted 7-2 to repeal a controversial head tax on large employers, a result seen as a victory for big companies like Amazon and Starbucks.

The vote came less than a month after the council voted 9-0 to approve the tax of 275 U.S. dollars per employee of the highest grossing businesses in Seattle such as Amazon every year to help fund housing and services for homeless people.

The tax bill has been strongly opposed by the city's big business players like Amazon, Starbucks and the Northwest Grocery Association.

The 275-dollar-per-employee tax would have gone into effect in January for big employers earning more than 20 million dollars per year in revenue, the Seattle-based K5news TV channel reported.

The new tax would have raised 48 million dollars annually to combat Seattle's homelessness and affordable housing crises. Federal statistics showed that the Seattle area has the third-largest homeless population in the United States.

The new vote was also viewed as a response to public pressure from No Tax on Jobs, a business-backed referendum campaign to reject the tax.

"Hopefully it's the beginning of something," Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell said of Tuesday's decision by the city council.

However, some supporters of the head tax criticized the council's vote as "capitulation" to wealthy corporate interests. 

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