The Seattle city council voted 7-2 Tuesday to repeal the so-called “Amazon tax” after it was met with vigorous opposition from the city’s business community upon being passed unanimously just one month ago, the Associated Press first reported.
The tax, which would have required the city’s highest grossing firms to pay $275 annually per-full-time employee, was challenged by No Tax on Jobs, a business-supported referendum campaign that had already collected enough signatures to force a vote on the tax in November.
City officials conceived of the tax, which was expected to generate $47 billion in annual revenue, as a way to address a growing homelessness problem; but critics — Starbucks, Amazon and Northwest Grocery foremost among them — argued the city already devotes significant resources toward addressing the issue to little avail. Amazon temporarily halted construction on a new office tower in downtown Seattle to protest the tax.
Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan and most of the city council said Monday that they decided to repeal the tax in order to avoid a costly, protracted legal battle with the city’s businesses.