Tuesday, June 12, 2018

"Seattle considers repealing controversial head tax as referendum campaign picks up steam" (AMZN; SBUX)

A threefer from GeekWire (your source for all things tech Seattle [and Redmond]):
June 11, 2018 at 12:51 pm
Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell has scheduled a special meeting Tuesday to consider repealing the so-called “head tax,” which passed unanimously in May.

If the Council approves Harrell’s legislation and repeals the controversial tax on Seattle’s top-grossing businesses, it will be a historic turnaround less than a month after all nine councilmembers approved the compromise tax, broked in late hours by Mayor Jenny Durkan. A vote is expected during Tuesday’s meeting. Seven councilmembers have indicated support for the repeal.

In an interview with KING 5, Harrell said they’ve been listening to constituents and “what people are saying is they’d like us to reset the button to look at — not only our investment strategy — but whether a tax on jobs makes sense.”

Harrell announced the unexpected about-face just days before an important deadline for a referendum campaign that would give voters the chance to overturn the head tax. The “No Tax on Jobs” campaign has until June 14 to submit a petition with at least 17,000 signatures to get a referendum on the November ballot. The campaign expects to exceed that goal....MORE 

Petition to overturn Seattle head tax gets more than twice the signatures needed, as city prepares to repeal polarizing law
June 12, 2018 at 8:37 am
Monday afternoon, as organizers prepared to submit a petition for a ballot initiative to overturn Seattle’s new head tax with more than double the 17,000 or so required signatures, they were surprised by an announcement out of City Hall.

Council President Bruce Harrell had introduced legislation that would overturn the controversial tax on Seattle’s top-grossing businesses less than a month after all nine councilmembers unanimously approved the plan. What’s more, Harrell called a special meeting for Tuesday and indicated that the Council expected to vote on repeal.

John Murray, a spokesperson for the “No Tax on Jobs” organization leading the referendum campaign, told GeekWire the petition had 45,833 signatures as of Tuesday morning. The campaign was launched by a coalition of businesses and received support from many in the tech industry. Amazon, Vulcan, and Starbucks each donated $25,000 to the effort....MORE
Artist builds LEGO scene for a modern day Seattle, with iconic buildings — and tents on the streets

...That edge is evident in “Homeless in Seattle,” a piece Heath shared on Flickr and Reddit, which shows the Seattle skyline in a style that is a direct parody of LEGO’s popular range of city skyline sets. Along with the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Smith Tower and Columbia Tower, Heath placed tents all over the urban landscape....
“Homeless in Seattle,” A LEGO skyline creation by artist Iain Heath. (Flickr Photo / Ochre Jelly)