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11 May 2018

Jonathan O'Connell, The Washington Post

USA: Amazon opposes Seattle tax proposal meant to address the state of emergency over homelessness

"As Amazon pursues a second headquarters, it battles hometown Seattle over tax to stem homelessness", 10 May 2018

A showdown is looming in Seattle, where the city council plans to take an initial vote Friday on a tax on big businesses that would address an escalating crisis in homelessness...Amazon halted construction plans on a development site in the northern end of the city and vowed that it would forgo additional space it recently leased if the council approves the tax, which is intended to raise $75 million a year...Seattle and surrounding King County declared a state of emergency over homelessness in 2015, but since then, cost-of-living pressures have worsened...How much to attribute the problem to the growth of Amazon, Microsoft, Google and other tech firms that have transformed the city from a sleepy Northwest outpost to a booming extension of Silicon Valley is a matter of sharp disagreement..."This is a message to the working people of America from Amazon saying that if you dare to fight us, we will threaten you with taking away jobs," [said Seattle council member Kshama Sawant, who supports the measure.]