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Seattle’s new ‘head tax’ blasted by city’s mega-corporations

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techbeck    6,908

A new tax approved by the Seattle City Council has triggered a fierce war of words between the liberal city and its behemoth corporations usually known for their progressive outlook. 

 

Starbucks and Amazon are now blasting the decision to slap a new “head tax” on businesses to pay for homeless services and affordable housing -- saying the government's own lack of efficiency is to blame for the city’s woes. 

 

“The city does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending efficiency problem,” Drew Herdener, Amazon vice president, said in a statement. “We are highly uncertain whether the city council’s anti-business positions or its spending inefficiency will change for the better.” 

 

The Seattle City Council on Monday passed a plan to tax businesses making at least $20 million in gross revenues about $275 per full-time worker each year. That “head tax” is estimated to raise about $48 million -- which authorities are marking for housing and homeless services.

 

“We have community members who are dying,” Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda said before the vote, according to The Seattle Times. “They are dying on our streets today because there is not enough shelter” and housing.

 

But the two corporate behemoths reacted angrily to the news. Nearly 600 employers — about 3 percent of all Seattle businesses — would pay the tax starting in 2019. Amazon said it is being forced to question future growth in the city, and noted that revenue was increasing quicker than the population increase.

 

More....

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/05/15/seattle-s-new-head-tax-blasted-by-city-s-mega-corporations.html

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Astra.Xtreme    2,798

And then these businesses will raise their prices and cut hours and/or jobs to compensate for those costs.  Happens every time.  The consumer and worker loses, as always.

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techbeck    6,908

Big companies should put more in to the local communities.  I can understand if it was a local business, but Amazon shouldn't be bitching and neither should Starbucks.

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Astra.Xtreme    2,798
15 minutes ago, techbeck said:

Big companies should put more in to the local communities.  I can understand if it was a local business, but Amazon shouldn't be bitching and neither should Starbucks.

Who says they aren't?  Typically big companies like that give huge amounts of charitable donations every year.  Let's not forget that they are supplying jobs, purchasing from local suppliers, and paying massive amounts of local taxes.

The problem is that the government is forcing these companies to pay that money since the govt isn't competent enough to balance a budget for it from the existing tax money supply.

A state with a massive corporate pool of Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, etc and a legal pot business can't come up with the money to do something about their homeless problem.  So they want to leech these companies even more?  That's just laughable.

Blue states are notorious for being horrendous with managing money, and this is another prime example of them trying to steal from the rich to cover up their incompetence.

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macrosslover    633
36 minutes ago, Astra.Xtreme said:

A state with a massive corporate pool of Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, etc and a legal pot business can't come up with the money to do something about their homeless problem.  So they want to leech these companies even more?  That's just laughable.

To be fair, this crazy tax, $15 minimum wage, tax ONLY on people making over $250k and other seemingly anti-business initiatives have come from Seattle not from Washington State overall.  While Washington is definitely a blue state, it is one of the few states with no state income tax, so I think it's fair to say while the state might be blue, Seattle is a different level of blue.

 

I think the problem Seattle faces with Amazon, at least, is once they open up HQ2, I can see them moving more operations to that HQ and then moving their existing HQ1 just outside Seattle to unincorporated King County to avoid this tax or even out of the state completely.

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redfish    561
4 hours ago, Astra.Xtreme said:

And then these businesses will raise their prices and cut hours and/or jobs to compensate for those costs.  Happens every time.  The consumer and worker loses, as always.

I'm of two minds about this.

 

On the one hand, I agree with you and believe that is likely what those businesses will do and that Seattle is probably on a fools' errand in the first place thinking that throwing more money at the city's problems is the way to go. 

 

On the other hand, even though this is what businesses typically do when government policy changes and it impacts their profits, its not necessarily always what they have to do -- its just the easiest and laziest solution. Just as corporations insist they need a lot of cheap labor imported into the US, even when unemployment levels are high, they insist they have to cut jobs to deal with taxes, even when they have record profits. Corporate management isn't necessarily much better than government management, they just are motivated more than the bottom line. And its always proceeded by a lot of whining where the local situation isn't always as bad as they make it out to be. So, for instance, as @macrosslover points out (kind of indirectly) the situation in Seattle is still in many ways better than the situation in California, which has a high income and sales tax, but there are still a lot of companies based in California, especially Silicon Valley, (and in fact there are some Southern California cities issuing bids for Amazon's new headquarters), and plenty of Starbucks and Amazon expansion going on in California despite the situation with the state.

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DocM    16,544

As some companies said, the city seems to have a warped idea of spending priorities.

 

Maybe they need fewer yuppie bike and jogging paths, which appear to be proliferating like weeds and cost up to $550,000/mile, and more low income housing and food services.

 

Just sayin'

 

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Quillz    1,011

No, the answer is more jogging paths and less guns. 

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DocM    16,544
13 hours ago, Quillz said:

No, the answer is more jogging paths and less guns. 

 

OT - go here

 

 

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Euphoria    2,006
21 hours ago, techbeck said:

“The city does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending efficiency problem,” Drew Herdener, Amazon vice president, said in a statement. “We are highly uncertain whether the city council’s anti-business positions or its spending inefficiency will change for the better.” 

 

Socialism at its best :) Amazon, Microsoft, Starbuck, developed and built this area. Directly and indirectly affected the economy and increased the living standard of millions of people... but as any other government, more you give them, more they spend... efficiency is an unknown term in their vocabulary as the money comes from other people and not from them.

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