Less than a month after it passed unanimously, a big-business tax vigorously opposed by Starbucks and others was repealed by the Seattle City Council on Tuesday.
The so-called head tax would have charged businesses making at least $20 million per year about $275 annually per full-time worker to fund affordable housing and other anti-homelessness initiatives in the city.
Starbucks and Amazon were among about 600 of Seattle’s largest businesses that would have been affected by the tax. They each paid $25,000 toward a referendum effort to repeal the tax. And Amazon temporarily stopped construction of a tower in downtown Seattle in protest, according to media reports.
The Seattle City Council voted 7-2 in favor of repealing the tax. One councilwoman who favored the tax told NPR that, given the deep pockets of the opposition, “This is not a winnable battle at this time.”
Starbucks officials did not respond to a request for comment on the repeal.