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That original compromise was voted down Friday.

"As long as big business controls the wealth in society, and controls what is built and where.they will create a race to the bottom around the world". Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), called Monday's vote a "huge victory" and noted that yearly revenue from the new tax on Amazon will be roughly equivalent to what Bezos makes in an hour. The mayor had publicly hinted that she would veto the original tax proposal because of the risks she said it posed to the local economy. With more than 40,000 employees and counting, Amazon is at the center of the conversation and the explicit target of Sawant, who has called the proposal "Tax Amazon Legislation".

For Seattle's liberal City Council, the discussion Monday centered not so much on whether there should be a head tax but how big it should be.

The head-tax debate has been extremely divisive, with opposition questioning the need for more revenue for housing and homeless services, saying the city should do a better job of spending the funds it already has.

Several members of the nine-person City Council said they were reluctantly voting in favor of the smaller tax because there were not enough votes to override a mayoral veto of the larger tax plan. The e-commerce giant paused construction on one of its office towers and said it is reconsidering occupying another.

The firm had been expecting to house 7,000 employees in the two spaces. Amazon's plans in Seattle after today's vote are not clear. "Not just here at City Hall, but all across this city".

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González said she was pleased to have the support of nearly every councilmember - Sawant did not support the amendment, but ended up voting in favor of the tax - but disappointed she couldn't find support for more. "We have a lot more work to do". Neither side supported the compromise, and most speakers blamed city leaders for an escalating homelessness crisis that has seen city sidewalks, parks and roadsides packed with tents and shacks. The city council president, Bruce Harrell, spoke to a growing "fear of what this city is becoming".

Seattle-King County also has the country's third-largest homeless population.

"While we have resumed construction planning for Block 18, we remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council's hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here", part of the statement reads, Herdener adding that the city "does not have a revenue problem - it has a spending efficiency problem".

But the city says homelessness is a moving target.

Mayor Jenny Durkan said that Seattle now spends about $70 million in annual direct investments to programs that fight homelessness in her first State of the City address. A new report concluded that it would require about $400 million a year, conservatively, to solve the homelessness crisis in King County. Other estimates put that number at about $54 million in 2017. Healthcare companies are exempt, as are non-profits.

Supporters cite data showing Seattle's median home prices have soared to $820,000, and more than 41 percent of renters in the city ranked as "rent-burdened", meaning they pay at least 30 percent of their income on housing.


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