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Seattle kills tax to fund homeless aid after pressure from Amazon, Starbucks

After pressure from businesses such as Amazon.com Inc. and Starbucks Inc. , Seattle has repealed a tax that would have paid for homeless aid, according to multiple reports Tuesday. Business interests, led by the likes of Amazon and Starbucks, Seattle’s largest employers, raised $200,000 in just a few weeks and gathered signatures for a referendum challenging the new tax, according to The Hill. The tax would have targeted the 585 businesses in the city with annual sales over $20 million, and charged a $275-per-employee levy. Seattle’s city council expected the tax to raise $47 million that would have been used to fund affordable housing and programs designed to end homelessness. A Chamber of Commerce-funded study said the tax would eliminate 10,000 jobs and cost $3.5 billion in productivity. Amazon stock was up a fraction after hours and closed up 0.6% to $1698.75. Amazon shares have gained 45% this year, as the S&P 500 index has gained 4%.

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