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SEATTLE ― In a 7-2 vote, the Seattle City Council voted to repeal a tax on large corporations to fund affordable housing and homeless services. The council had voted unanimously to pass the tax just over a month ago.
Amid boos, cheers and chanting, three councilmembers who’d voted for the tax ― then voted to repeal it ― told a packed City Hall audience that they had no other option.
Since the Employee Hours Tax passed in May, a coalition of companies led by Amazon and Starbucks have collected more than 40,000 signatures to repeal it. If the City Council hadn’t reversed its decision, a referendum to nullify the tax would have appeared on the ballot in November.
Councilmember Lisa Herbold said she had seen polls indicating that the “vast majority” of Seattleites would support repealing the tax.
“We don’t have the time or the resources to change enough minds before the referendum in November,” Herbold said after more than an hour of often-heated public comment. “It’s not a winnable battle.”
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COMMENTS VIA TWITTER
RT @boydsg416: Seattle repeals ‘head tax’ after backlash from Amazon, Starbucks https://t.co/yciS490W3e #FoxBusiness
@206empire @D5Juarez @MLKLabor @SeattleCouncil Also doubt it. She sells out her constituents to enrich the wealthie… https://t.co/M4IKwnQTwD
@jessepiedfort @D5Juarez @CMTMosqueda @CMLGonzalez How does she plan to right this wrong without confronting Bezos… https://t.co/nxgFUGlghB