Online retail giant Amazon paused its plan to build a 17-story high-rise office complex in the heart of Seattle Thursday, saying the city council’s new policy of taxing businesses to fight homelessness could derail the entire project.
The controversial legislation passed the Seattle City Council this week, placing a hefty tariff on large corporations to raise over $75 million to fight the region’s escalating homeless crisis and rising crime.
“I can confirm that pending the outcome of the head tax vote by City Council, Amazon has paused all construction planning on our Block 18 project in downtown Seattle and is evaluating options to sublease all space in our recently leased Rainer Square building,” said a spokesperson for Amazon.
The online giant employs over 40,000 workers in the Seattle area alone, and was planning to further increase its operations in the city until the council passed the “homeless tax.”
“The current reality on the streets of Seattle clearly shows the City Council’s approach to the biggest crisis facing our region has been inconsistent and ineffective,” said Seattle’s Chamber of Commerce.
WEST COAST CHAOS: Homeless Create ‘MAKESHIFT MANSIONS’ in Seattle
Homeless residents in Seattle, Washington bragged about creating a “makeshift mansion” in the shadow of the city’s famed Space Needle attraction; saying “If you can live on the street and not pay rent, then why would you pay rent?”
According to Fox News, a new “mega tent city” is growing directly underneath the region’s signature tourist attraction; surrounded by exclusive condominiums and apartments occupied by the city’s richest residents.
It is a form of protest,” said one of the “makeshift mansion” inhabitants. “We’re staking a claim. We’re refusing to cower in our tents.”
“We’ve got the doors, the couch, the table,” she added. “We’ve got the living room here, which is a mess right now because we’re still constructing, but we’re putting up the vinyl to cover it up, make it more attractive.”
A spokesperson for the city government said they have no plans -as of yet- to remove the tent city, but are trying to convince residents to “move elsewhere.”
WEST COAST CHAOS: Seattle Business Owners to PAY MILLIONS to Help Homeless
Seattle’s soaring technology industry is the target of the liberal city’s newest tax scheme, with local officials planning to impose a hefty tariff to help the region’s exploding homeless population.
According to Fox News, the Seattle City Council is poised to levy a 26 cents tax on every hour worked within the city limits for specific businesses; hoping to raise over $75 million per year to “address the growing homeless problem.”
“The city is going to make us choose between taking care of our employees and giving back to our community,” said a local business owner, “and some businesses will die or leave Seattle because of this.”
“You start creating a scenario where it’s much more attractive to house employees outside the city,” said HomeStreet CEO Mark Mason. “That is bad for the city, it’s bad for jobs, it’s bad for the economy.”
City officials claim the funds will go directly towards permanent shelters for the homeless population, which has grown by a whopping 20% since 2016.
“Housing and homelessness is absolutely a regional crises and we need to act with urgency right here in Seattle to get folks inside,” said Seattle City Council member Teresa Mosqueda. “This creates almost 200 deeply affordable homes.”
Read the full story at Fox News.