Seattle socialists want employee head tax to pay for housing, homeless

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos rocked business headlines a month ago when he announced that he is searching for a second headquarters in North America. This has led to countless dubious and questionable offers by mayors across Canada and the United States (SEE: WATCH: Desperate mayors competing for Amazon’s second HQ).

Well, now we know why Bezos wants a second HQ: taxes.

Seattle lawmakers are apparently in the early stages of implementing an employee head tax, according to Seattle PI.

Socialist City Councillor Kshama Sawant, alongside Mike O’Brien and Kirsten Harris-Talley, are proposing a tax of 4.8 cents per employee per hour on companies with annual gross revenues of $5 million or more. They say this would generate approximately $24 million for the city to pay for housing and homeless services.

Sawant said Amazon can afford it:

“Amazon would be paying about $8 million a year,” Sawant said. “That is less than six parts in a thousand of one percent of their 2016 revenue. I mean, these fractions are so small, it doesn’t even make sense. You can’t process these small fractions. It’s 1/625th — I’m not making this up — it is 1/625th of the money they announced they intend to use to build a new campus.”

But what about other businesses? Doesn’t she know Seattle maintains plenty of other small- and medium-sized businesses other than Amazon?

That said, the head tax would come as the council has recently and significantly raised business taxes, fees and utilty rates

Reportedly, the head tax was produced clandestinely, prompting widespread complaints from the business community and a raucous scene inside of Council Chambers.

Like this article? Get ECN delivered to your inbox daily. Subscribe here.

Leave a Comment