May 15, 2018

Amazon and Starbucks blast Seattle tax to fight homelessness

Amazon and Starbucks have hit out at a decision to impose a new tax on firms based in Seattle to help fight homelessness. Seattle City Council voted unanimously for the tax, saying it will raise $47m to tackle a housing affordability crisis due to a recent economic boom. Supporters of the tax cite data showing Seattle's median home prices have soared to more than $820,000, and more than 41% of renters are classed as "Rent-burdened". Seattle is also home to the third-largest concentration of homeless people in the US. The levy is expected to be imposed on about 500 companies, including Seattle-headquartered firms such as department store chain Nordstrom and coffee chain Starbucks. Seattle's Chamber of Commerce said that "Taxing jobs will not fix our region's housing and homelessness problems".

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