Post navigation

Prev: (07/05/20) | Next: (07/06/20)

Tax Amazon calls for support against ‘corporate loopholes’ as Seattle Council votes on ‘progressive revenue’ tax on big businesses

Seattle’s bid to create a new pool of “progressive revenue” to help the city overcome the economic downturn expected to stem from the COVID-19 crisis faces its final vote with the Seattle City Council Monday afternoon.\

Budget chair Teresa Mosqueda’s plan for a tax on big businesses is hoped to help Seattle overcome its forecasted budget shortfalls due to COVID-19 and to fund affordable housing, equitable development, and economic support for small businesses through a new tax on the city’s largest businesses that could generate more than $200 million a year.

The proposal passed out of committee last week on a 7-2 vote. Council member Alex Pedersen and Debora Juarez voted against the plan saying the preferred that voters decide on the tax.

Kshama Sawant’s Tax Amazon campaign, meanwhile, is championing the Mosqueda proposal. “This is critical. It’s the threat of our ballot initiative looming over the City Council that caused them to move forward on discussions around an Amazon Tax in the first place,” a message to supporters sent Monday morning reads. “With the final vote scheduled for tomorrow by the City Council on the Amazon Tax, it’s our continued momentum that can pressure City Council to pass a strong Amazon Tax without watering down, corporate loopholes or any further delays.”

In 2018, the city council passed and then rolled back a $275 per full-time employee tax on companies reporting $20 million or greater in annual “taxable gross receipts.” That tax would have generated only about $50 million annually.

While it is expected the full council will pass the legislation Monday, the new tax on big businesses could end up challenged in court. Mayor Jenny Durkan and business organizations have opposed the tax effort.

Wednesday, meanwhile, will bring a critical debate over COVID-19 crisis-driven changes to the city budget including what could be major cuts to SPD.


$5/MONTH? SUBSCRIBE AND SUPPORT LOCAL NEWS: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.


Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

5 thoughts on “Tax Amazon calls for support against ‘corporate loopholes’ as Seattle Council votes on ‘progressive revenue’ tax on big businesses” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. No corporate loopholes required, just a moving van and a good commercial real estate broker who can find space in Bellevue or Kirkland (or Arlington). In fairness though, in the current environment I haven’t seen anything written about how they would determine where an employee “works” for taxing purposes – do they use your kitchen table location you have been working at for months now or the arbitrary “office” address that you might go to occasionally whenever things reopen?

    • If businesses don’t wait to pay their fair share to take care of the city who supports them, then see you later! Businesses can threaten to move all they want, the cities they move to will be put in the same position Seattle has been with a city council too slow to make changes… it’s a cycle. Start taking care of people, give opportunity and equity, there’s no need to hoard billions of dollars when we have staving children on the streets.

  2. This all played out rather predictably: in the pressure of the ballot initiative (30k+ signatures collected out of a required 22k), a moderate brought forth a watered-down compromise that was just palatable enough to get moderates on board and sate the hunger of activists looking to take this to the ballot.

    One thing, however, is important to keep in perspective: the key driver of this bill was the effort of working people and activists who attended the action conferences, volunteered, and signed the petition. Making a fuss is what good the goods.

    • There is nothing to stop them from still taking this to the ballot if they feel this is too watered down and the idea that Mosqueda is a moderate is laughable. She and Sawant are cut from the same cloth but Mosqueda wants to use the system not burn it down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.