Seattle lacks path to help homeless
After ‘Amazon tax’ fails, housing crisis lingers
SAN FRANCISCO – After a bruising, monthlong fight in which Amazon and other businesses squelched a new corporate head tax to fund homeless services, Seattle is struggling to find a path forward to deal with a crisis that’s exploded in recent years.
Other metropolitan areas with rapidly rising housing costs are also grappling with residents priced out of the market. But Seattle’s tax situation puts it in an especially difficult position on raising funds to help its homeless residents.
It could also be a warning to the 20 cities currently vying to become home to Seattle’s second headquarters. Amazon stopped construction on a 17-story office building during the debate over the tax. It would have cost big businesses $275 per employee per year and was approved by a unanimous vote of the Seattle City Council on May 14, then rescinded by seven of nine members of that same council June 12.