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00000181-fa79-da89-a38d-fb7f2c120000Seattle is in the midst of a struggle with affordable housing and a rising homelessness crisis. The City Council is considering a proposal to have large businesses help pick up the tab on these issues with an employee tax, more commonly known as the head tax.The tax would force big employers to pay the city of Seattle for each employee and every hour worked. It's expected to raise $75 million.

Answering your questions on the proposed Head Tax

File photo of a homeless encampment under a bridge.
KUOW Photo
Homeless encampment under Seattle bridge.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is not ready to support the proposed employee head tax. This is the proposal for a per-employee tax on the city's highest grossing businesses.

The money would pay for low-income housing and services for homeless people. Amazon would be the number one payer of this tax and they are so opposed to it that they've halted construction on a new tower in Downtown Seattle. Also opposed to this head tax are local companies like Starbucks, Alaska Airlines and Dick's Drive-In.

In favor of the tax is a majority on the Seattle City Council. They say the $75 million a year it would raise would help make Seattle a place where people who are low-income and experiencing homelessness  can get the resources they need.

Should the city pass the tax when they vote on it next week? We asked listeners to call in with questions for our reporter, Amy Radil and Seattle City Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez.

Year started with KUOW: 2012
To see more of Amina's KUOW portfolio, visit our current site.
Year started with KUOW: 2018