Seattle has a thriving technical scene. (19459007) AMZN has its headquarters there along with Microsoft ( MSFT ) in nearby Redmond, Washington. Apple ( AAPL ) who already has an office in the city, now wants to add more engineering and computer science positions.
While cities are keen to attract successful businesses (see the bidding war against Amazon's so-called HQ2 and its 50,000 well-paid jobs), they can also put stress on regions. The San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle both have massive homelessness and affordable housing.
"As Seattle continues to grow, we need to act quickly to address the pressures that follow ̵
1; from tackling affordability to new affordable housing to boost transit," Mayor Jenny A. Durkan said in a statement on Monday .
In 2017, more than 21,500 applications were received for only 3,500 seats available through a Seattle residential lottery that helps low-income residents pay their monthly rent in privately owned homes.
Over the past few years, Seattle has been trying to introduce a head tax per employee of companies generating at least $ 20 million of their annual revenue in Seattle. The tax was expected to generate $ 75 million a year, which would have become accustomed to building affordable housing and combating homelessness.
The sponsors of the tax bill said that the influx of workers paid more than existing residents leads to a higher cost of housing, which is a major cause of homelessness. It is aggravated when the construction of residential buildings is not a priority.
The efforts showed limited success but ultimately failed under pressure from companies such as Amazon, which is the largest private sector employer in the city. At that time, an Amazon chief said the company was "worried about the future created" by the bill and that it had to question its growth in Seattle.
Seattle has limited means of raising money for public works because it is prohibited from having Washington income tax. It is dependent on sales tax, property tax and corporate and occupational tax.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, large technology companies have launched initiatives to combat the area's ongoing homelessness. In June, Google announced a $ 1 billion donation to help build affordable housing. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced a partnership to create more affordable housing that includes donations from both his company and charity.