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Seattle tax opposed by Amazon will likely be rescinded

UPDATED: Mon., June 11, 2018

Members of the public look on at a Seattle City Council meeting where the council was expected to vote on a “head tax” Monday, May 14, 2018, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Members of the public look on at a Seattle City Council meeting where the council was expected to vote on a “head tax” Monday, May 14, 2018, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

SEATTLE – Seattle city leaders say they’ll work to repeal a tax passed just last month on businesses such as Amazon and Starbucks designed to help pay for homeless services and affordable housing.

Amazon and other businesses had sharply criticized the levy, and the online retail giant even temporarily halted construction planning on a new high-rise building near its Seattle headquarters in protest.

Mayor Jenny Durkan and seven of the nine City Councilmembers said in a statement Monday that an expected November referendum challenge to the tax would be “a prolonged, expensive political fight” and that the council will this week consider legislation to rescind the tax.

The City Council unanimously passed a plan in May that taxed businesses making at least $20 million in gross revenues about $275 per full-time worker each year. It would have raised roughly $48 million a year for housing and homeless services.

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