City council repeals head tax in 7-2 vote

That didn’t take long. Just less than a month after the city council voted 9-0 in favor of a head tax on big Seattle businesses, the same council voted 7-2 to repeal it amid chants from the audience.

Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Teresa Mosqueda voted no.

In a statement after the vote, Amazon said it was “the right decision for the region’s economic prosperity.” The company said it was “deeply committed to being part of the solution to end homelessness in Seattle.”

Yesterday Mayor Jenny Durkan and and 7 councilmembers published a statement. “We heard you,” it said. “It is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis.”

“Hopefully it’s not the end of anything,” said Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell after the vote. “Hopefully it’s the beginning of something.”

“The people who have won are the conservative groups and big businesses, funding organizations who support Trump, who oppose civil rights, and who are refusing to participate in shared responsibility,” tweeted Councilmember Mosqueda.

The council voted after organizers of a referendum to repeal the head tax said they had secured more than enough signatures to put it on the November ballot.

You can watch a video of the proceedings here on KOMO’s Facebook page.

‘No Tax on Jobs’ coalition pushing for referendum to repeal head tax

The grandson of the founder of Dick’s Drive-in is helping spearhead a new effort to bring a referendum to the ballot that aims to overturn the city’s new head tax.

Saul Spady, who runs a Seattle ad agency, is working with the new “No Tax on Jobs” coalition to gather 17,632 signatures by June 12th to qualify the referendum for the August ballot. Spady’s sister, Jasmine Donovan, is an executive at Dick’s Drive-in who co-wrote an editorial in the Seattle Times early this month that proposed an alternative to the head tax.

In addition to Spady, the coalition lists its officers as PushPay’s James Maiocco and Phillip Lloyd, a downtown accountant. Spady told Geekwire that his goal is to first repeal the head tax, then create a ballot initiative with alternative solutions to reduce homelessness.

The No Tax on Jobs website says the petition can be signed at 2211 Elliott Ave., Suite 200., however a story in The Stranger on Friday indicated that the petition language was still be worked out.

We’ll keep you updated.