Seattle tax designed to combat housing crisis

Amazon Hit by New Tax After Unanimous City Council Vote

Gregory Scruggs | Reuters

Seattle’s city council on Monday approved a new tax for the city’s biggest companies, including Inc (AMZN.O), to combat a housing crisis attributed in part to a local economic boom that has driven up real estate costs at the expense of the working class.

Amazon, the city’s largest employer, said after the vote that it would go ahead with planning for a major downtown office building that it earlier had put on hold over its objections to a much stiffer tax plan originally proposed.

As passed on a 9-0 vote after a boisterous public hearing, the measure would apply to most companies grossing at least $20 million a year, levying a tax of roughly 14 cents per employee per hour worked within the city – about $275 annually for each worker.

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