Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signaled this week that her administration was seeking a “repeal” of the so-called “homeless tax” over mounting public pressure and a major pushback from local businesses.
The Mayor and at least seven of nine city council members are hard at work on slashing the burdensome tax, which fined businesses earning a specific amount of profit to help finance the city’s exploding homeless population.
“It is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis,” said a statement from the Mayor’s office. “These challenges can only be addressed together as a city, and as importantly, as a state and a region.”
“While a vote may go forward to repeal the tax, our homelessness and housing affordability crisis gets worse,” Council member Teresa Mosqueda said. “We have people who are dying on the doorsteps of prosperity, and our neighbors and friends worry about being able to afford to live in the City while we have a booming economy.”
Leading the charge against the tax was Seattle-based Starbucks and Amazon, two of the nation’s largest corporations who would have been forced to may $275 per employee to help raise funds for the city’s homeless.
Read the full report at Fox News.
SEATTLE REVOLT: Amazon HALTS Expansion Plan Over ‘Homeless Tax’
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.
REPORT: Seattle Mussels Test Positive for OPIOIDS
The west coast of the United States -and other communities across the country- continue to struggle with the devastating impact of opioid addiction, with the problem so bad the region’s mussel population is now testing positive for the substance.
According to CBS News, scientists from the Washington Department of Fishing and Wildlife are claiming that local varieties of mussels now contain traces of opioids as the drug’s “flow downstream” is starting to impact aquatic life.
“Since mussels are ‘filter feeders,’ they absorb contaminants from their environment into their tissues in a concentrated way. Scientists used cages to transplant clean mussels from an aquaculture source on Whidbey Island to 18 urbanized locations around Puget Sound. Several months later, they pulled those previously uncontaminated mussels back out of the urban waters and, together with the Puget Sound Institute, tested them again,” writes CBS.
The mussels tested positive in three of the 18 locations.
The President vowed to crackdown on the nation’s escalating crisis of addiction earlier this year, vowing to increase penalties for drug dealers and smugglers.
“If we don’t get tougher on drug dealers, we are wasting our time … and that toughness includes the death penalty,” Trump said.