Seattle homeless

Amazon has halted plans to house 7,000 employees in a shiny new high rise in Seattle, Washington, after the city approved a plan to tax companies earning more than $20 million annually.

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce approved the plan to tax corporations like Amazon and Starbucks $275 per employee. The money will be used to build housing units for the homeless.

Amazon opposed the tax and vowed to pull out of Seattle if the plan went through. The online retailing giant will continue construction on the skyscraper, but it will rent out the space rather than occupy it.

Amazon’s stock price slipped to $1566 per share — down from $1601 at the close of day Monday. The price rebounded to $1570 per share by 11 a.m.

Seattle says it will use the money to build 591 housing units for the homeless.

But critics argue that $100 million already collected by the council was spent on research and surveys. No new housing units were built.

Seattle has 11,000 people living on the streets. That number is expected to rise as word of the free housing gets around the country.

 

Stock photo by 400tmax / Getty Images

  • Diva_woman

    Interesting that amazon chose Seattle anyway. I was hoping a city that needed the economy boost would get it more. Maybe the harsh tax will put some other cities back in the running

  • Dowoop

    These big corporations are all into “social work” until it’s time to put their money where their mouth is and get no credit.

  • Sally Wright McLinn

    Wow no wonder AMZ is looking for a 2nd headquarters!

  • JENNYJONES1

    WHAT SURVEY AND RESEARCH TO TELL YOU HOMELESS PEOPLE NEED HOUSING COST $100 MILLION DOLLARS? I COULD HAVE TOLD THEM THAT FOR FREE. I THINK THE COMPANIES HAVE A POINT AND SHOULD BE PISSED SO SHOULD THEIR EMPLOYEES THAT WERE GOING TO GET THE HOUSING B/C HOW MUCH OF A DENT DOES 591 UNITS DO FOR A 11,000 PERSON HOMELESS ISSUE. SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF CITY COUNCIL AND BOARD MEMBERS ARE GETTING A LOT OF KICKBACKS AND UNDER THE TABLE MONIES OFF OF THE HOMELESS ISSUE AND WANT BIG CORPS TO PAY THE COST……….JENNY JONES!!!

  • Trace da Ace

    #TRUTH

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    Amazon *been* in Seattle….for like 20 years now lol They are on the hunt for a second headquarters.

  • Stationarity

    Their headquarters are already in Seattle. They were just building affordable housing for employees because it’s so expensive to live there. It’s the second headquarters, HQ2, whose location is still being determined.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    No, they were looking for another headquarters before this incident because they needed a second one preferably on the east coast.

  • Mec-One

    But being forced to help is not the answer

  • FukkFolks2018

    Amazon opposed the tax and vowed to pull out of Seattle if the plan went through.
    ^^^^^^^^^^
    Dear Amazon:

    Raleigh-Durham (as a native I HATE when its hyphenated, but I understand WHY we are called this BS) are still waiting on yall. See you when you get here.

    Sad that you are going to drive up the cost of housing, and clog poor little ole I-40 and I-540. And US 64. And the Durham Freeway. And Highways 54 and 55. We will adjust tho.

    I will email both mayors to keep the light on for yall.

    YSIC,
    Me

  • the guest

    Who are these builders? With 100 million dollars, they could build 100 million units. There’s so much deceit, red tape, misuse, kick backs, and greed in housing development. If it were pure building units to house people then all 11,000 on Seattle’s streets would have a home.

  • http://thedevereauxshow.com/ Ms.Devereaux

    We need a detailed and itemized list of where that 100mil went and I don’t want to hear about a dam survey either!! How many question was the survey and how much paper did they use to run up a 100 mil tab? They need to have someone overseeing city spending and federal spending and a detail account needs to be made public

  • Scorpio

    I agree there should be something done. I think that the tech industry and companies like Uber, Amazon, Google, start ups, are what are destroying neighborhoods, the gentrification that follows these companies, raise the rents and push poor to moderate income people into homelessness or near homelessness. I’m all for the tech industry but it should be explored how they tear apart neighborhoods, and what their responsibilities should be towards the disparities they create.

  • pure_rachet

    Lots of the homeless are heroin users. There’s a lot of documentaries on Seattle.

  • Marlika

    White folks always wasting money on “surveys” The surveys they conduct benefits no one of color and are usually bias. ??????

  • Joy King

    I’m still trying to figure out why it cost 100 million for research and surveys. It sounds like Seattle is trying to stick Amazon and Starbucks with their bill after wasting all the money. I would be mad too. I know major corporations find ways to get a lot of tax breaks but I’m also sure they pay a lot too.

  • Miss Thang

    Amazon is greedy as hell. I am boycotting Amazon. The CEO Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world right now, and he expects me to believe he can’t afford to do both??????? House the employees and pay your taxes! To whom much is given, much is required.

  • Miss Thang

    These companies don’t pay any taxes but want the talent and education of people who were developed through the American education system.

  • Miss Thang

    yes, I agree there is corruption but I am not letting the companies off the hook. They don’t pay any taxes. The average American has to pay more taxes than these huge companies and we don’t get to choose how our tax money is spent.

  • Miss Thang

    they don’t pay anything.

  • Miss Thang

    I agree 100%

  • Diva_woman

    Oh ok, I thought the article was talking about the second one. I’m like why do they need it at this point?

  • TheOwley

    I’s called socialism, making plans with other people’s money. If I was headquarters Starbucks and Amazon, I move out of there. Hello Atlanta, or any other city. These towns want to create sanctuary heavens for illegals, homeless, and drug abusers, why should the citizens have to pay for them. And no, I don’t care how much money those companies or the hard working citizens have. Enforce the damn laws and you won’t have so many problems in the streets. btw, any money charged to the employee and company will be paid by the customers in the end.

  • TheOwley

    Do you live in Seattle? You will happily pay this money to support these folks. Drug abusers and homeless living in the streets. They won’t go to shelters. Your house OK?

  • yvette46

    Some homeless people just want to be homeless!!. Majority of them are on drugs and rather spend their money on drugs then housing. So I don’t blame Amazon..

  • Rodmilla De Ghent

    and Atlanta needs to do the same when Amazon headquarters here

  • KJBibleOnSlaveShips

    Give us our reparations or $200,000 tuition for college and shut da f!ck up!!!

  • SweetTEE

    I’m not trying to be insensitive but I’m sure they already had housing in the area that could have been used to house the homeless. And why is it anyone’s responsibility other than the city? What are they doing with all the taxes they already receive quarterly? Great way to push corporations out of the state, with job loss and economy. Maybe they need to restructure how funds are used..

    Some homeless people are homeless by choice. Some here don’t even want to go to a shelter or live in a home.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Yes, it is. These people make money off of the masses. We want people off the street for a varied number of reasons.

  • J2PC

    That’s because shelters are where they are guaranteed to be victimized (raped, stabbed, sliced, robbed, mugged, drugged, etc.).

    What would be ideal is the smallest studio. A one-man tiny shower with face sink & toilet. A sofa bed. A tiny oven.

    If they are fed up with being cramped, they can either shut up & put up or work towards moving onto something better via a job.

    -all controlled by social workers, rehab counselors of all sorts to get them moving more in a positive manner.

  • Dove Amerie

    US STATS SHOW: Less people than ever in the past 50 years DO NOT OWN A HOME!! The American Dream is long gone. They know they can raise rents because there are fewer homeowners than ever! Could be you next week. The rich get richer.

  • Mec-One

    These companies are not just looking for employees from “the American school system” lol

  • I write wtf I like – Biko

    You don’t really think they spent even one penny of that 100M on surveys do you?

  • I write wtf I like – Biko

    Majority of the homeless in America are vets

  • Omandesert

    I don’t mean to be perceived as insensitive, but why is it everybody’s responsibility to take care of the underprivileged except the government? The homelessness in Seattle is not Amazons or Starbucks problem. How about the homeless people that are eligible to work, get jobs at Starbucks or Amazon and the ones that are not capable due to mental illness become the responsibility of thier families? The homeless epidemic in this country has risen but it has always existed. I believe drugs has increased the number to record heights. When I was a child, relatives that needed help, depended on family until they got on thier feet and the legitimate crazy relatives were sent to a nut house or locked in a bedroom or basement at a family members house to be taken care of. If I were Starbucks or Amazon I’d tell the Seattle politicians to suck my chai tea, customer centric company dick ?

  • Miss Thang

    Of course not but the majority of their employees are.

  • JENNYJONES1

    OK I SEE YOUR POINT AND AGREE BUT WHERE’D THEY GET THE $100 MILL THAT DIDN’T PROVIDE ISH? WASN’T IT FROM THOSE SAME COMPANIES THEY WANT THE $275 FROM USING THE ARGUMENT ABOUT THE LACK OF TAXES BEING COLLECTED FROM THEM? I GUESS NOW THOSE COMPANIES ARE NOT LETTING THE COUNCIL USE THAT SAME ARGUMENT THIS GO ROUND. I’M SURE IF AN AUDIT IS DONE OF THAT $100 MILL A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE GOING TO LOSE OUT BESIDES THE HOMELESS AND AMAZON EMPLOYEES………JENNY JONES!!!

  • JENNYJONES1

    THAT ARE ON DRUGS. THEY GET THEIR CHECKS AND SPEND IT ON THE DRUGS. I WORKED WITH A GROUP THAT HELPED TO FIND HOUSING FOR VETS AND THAT WAS THE PROBLEM, THEY’D FIND THEM HOUSING, GET THEM FOOD, TRANSIT CARDS, CLOTHING, ETC AND WITHIN 30-60 DAYS THEY WERE BACK ON THE STREETS, BARELY STAYING IN THE HOUSING AND SURE AS HELL DIDN’T PAY THE SUPER REDUCED RENT. SADLY DRUGS ARE A POWERFUL PULL THAT DESTROY A LOT OF GOOD PEOPLE………..JENNY JONES!!!

  • Mec-One

    Same can be said about their office in Europe as well, no?

  • Mec-One

    The masses are not forced to use their services though. Taxes should be raised on the masses for not donating more to get the homeless off the streets ……..

  • I write wtf I like – Biko

    Caps don’t equal facts. All homeless are NOT on drugs. Here’s an NYC stat from the WSJ (note my proper uses of the caps lock function) “In *FACT*, one-third of families with children in shelters have a working family member, but they remain unable to find an affordable apartment in the city.”
    In my opinion homelessness is due to either mental health, which drug addiction falls under, OR lack of affordable housing. Politicians arent pressed to put resources into resolving those issues: mental health and homelessness.
    This article came up about Seattle spending $100 million on surveys about the homeless. I don’t believe that one friggin penny was spent on any surveys but that’s just speculation however, they spent NONE of it on housing, as a matter of FACT.

  • TheOwley

    Do you think you are the only one that has come out with that idea. Homeless ness a lot of time is less to do with not having where to go. These people are mentally ill and the US has dropped that service in our society because people “have the rights to live in the streets if they so desire.” You can’t have it both ways. Seattle would be the first city to file an ACLU suit for making homeless people not be homeless. It’s a mental disease which includes the city officials as the most ill of all. Same for San Francisco and these other sanctuary cities. Do you know why they are sanctuary cities????? Because that’s their response to cities like NY that were collecting people off the streets to shelters, etc.

  • Dove Amerie

    wow

  • Dove Amerie

    But insensitive you are.

  • Dove Amerie

    THAT PART!!!!!!

  • Dove Amerie

    good luck

  • Dove Amerie

    First their employees are pissing in jars and now this. smh. I did not buy anything from Amazon this check.

  • zero options

    There’s plenty of blame to go around on this one.
    100 million for research and surveys?
    what was the result of the research and surveys?
    an amazon high rise?
    how many concessions did amazon force the city to make for this?

    San antonio told amazon they weren’t interested in their new headquarters, it just wasn’t worth pursuing.

    It sounded like a money and land grab by both parties.

  • SweetTEE

    That’s fine.

  • Miss Thang

    I’m talking about their headquarters.

  • Miss Thang

    I haven’t done the research but I know Sandra’s reporting is biased towards the Republican side so she may not have told the whole story.

  • kekeb

    I don’t see ANYTHING wrong with this. In fact, it should be a requirement for big businesses. Especially the ones who avoid taxes/get substantial tax breaks.
    Allowing veterans to be homeless should be illegal and treasonous IMO

  • kekeb

    Why not? U know how much money they get/tax breaks?!

  • kekeb

    Right. Sense they’re not seeioseri considering reparations to black people for the institution of slavery, they should at least be mandated to help the homeless.

  • http://thedevereauxshow.com/ Ms.Devereaux

    Right!! We know that money went into ppl pockets by way of companies their friend work for

  • Lady_Elle

    Politicians use the $$$ they are already getting like a piggy bank.
    They take it and do what they want with it!
    I agree with: “Some homeless people are homeless by choice. Some here don’t even want to go to a shelter or live in a home.”

  • red

    I agree with you. Next you know, all small business will have to pay a fee to take care of the homeless. That’s governments job to figure it out but it shouldn’t be corporate America mandate. This is like a punishment for those that support capitalism. They should relocate and let Seattle figure out what it will do when these company’s leave.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Nope. These companies make all this american money & then have Corp offices out of the country so they do not have to pay taxes. Will not play me with the game playing.

  • the guest

    They are into having an image of being into social work, not actually doing social work.

  • Tlowe89

    You can’t force someone to be charitable and you can’t make them donate to a specific charity. Perhaps they already do, but homelessness isn’t one. People are allowed to donate to whomever they chose

  • Dove Amerie

    Then own it

  • J2PC

    Therefore, my idea would work. Either go to jails or mandated mental institutions which will prepare the severely mentally ill being treated and counsel to transition into those mini-size apartments.

    -May-or Gui liani show us and all New Yorkers that it could be done when he cleaned up the streets and image of NYC to where it became one of the safest cities.

    Now, that the liberals are back in charge…NYC is a nasty dump where the streets are filled again with addicts, criminals & homeless people for whatever reason.

  • TheOwley

    I think we may be arguing on the same side of the discussion. Seattle’s answer is to tax and financially penalized others to take care of the problem but the sanctuary city thing will not allow them therefore this is nothing more than a money grab. They want to penalized Amazon too on other ends after Amazon invested in putting their quarters there. It’s so bad that construction of buildings have stopped.

  • Dowoop

    And this isn’t a donation..its a TAX! And the government can, will and do make up taxes for whatever random shit they want!

  • Dowoop

    I think you missed the point but carry on.

  • Dowoop

    I am all for taxing big corporations, even more when it helps others.

  • TheOwley

    Whatevs.

  • king shun

    some of those veterans are mass murdered and getting karma for the women and children them have killed

  • free

    “this check” lolololololol

  • Mister Fantastic

    How are they going to force a company to house someone? That money is going into people’s pockets. Amazon and Starbucks should hire investigator and follow the money!

  • Dowoop

    The housing is also not for the floor level workers but for corporate employees making 6 figures. Im all in favour of taxing them and housing the homeless.

  • Stationarity

    I agree. I don’t think people realize how hard it is when you are down and don’t have a social safety net. How can someone find a job and they are homeless?

    I also agree with NOT making it comfortable.

  • Stationarity

    Interesting point. Thanks for letting me know. What do you consider “floor-level”? And I dont think Amazon was building housing for charity or to help “floor-level” employees but to attract the best technical workers, who would make low six-figures. 100,000 ain’t a whole lot for a family of 3 or 4 if the rent is 3,000.

    I don’t think I have a problem with the tax either. The government officials just need to roll out the program appropriately and the citizens need to hold them accountable.

    I am not even sure if the businesses have a problem with the tax. Seattle may not spend the money that it gets now correctly. They may have a problem with how the city handles it’s revenue????

  • SweetTEE

    Look broad..FOH. I said what the fuck I said and meant it. And I not apologizing either. Now take your ass along and YOU build a damn building for them with YOUR money and get the fuck out my comments.

  • Lady_Elle

    SweetTEE… tell us how you really feel! rofl

  • Lady_Elle

    I agree with your comments…

    My point above… politicians use appropriated $$$ to do what the heck they please.

    They personally don’t care about truly fixing the problem.

  • Lady_Elle

    They likely spent $100.

  • Dove Amerie

    DEAL WITH IT LOSER

  • I write wtf I like – Biko

    Aawww u being too nice

  • SweetTEE

    Ima block your retarded ass after this comment bc Im not an internet thug.

    I advise you to go find your homeless mammy and let her live in your house so you can shut your sensitive ass up. I bet you havent donated NARRY a dime to homeless people. Probably turn your damn head when they ask for change. Then want to bring your raggedy ass in here mad bc people have their opinions. Kiss the toughest part of my black ass and God Bless.

  • SweetTEE

    She better cur her ass lol

  • Dove Amerie

    @ SWEET TEE that taste soo nasty…I WILL LIVE !!!

  • Lady_Elle

    If I was the decision maker for Amazon… I would not come to the A-T-L.

    Car jacking… gas stations; malls; crooked city council.

  • Lady_Elle

    Are you also boycotting Walmart? Just asking… they are EQUALLY guilty of such.

  • Lady_Elle

    I know! I was thinking *** nothing ***

  • Lady_Elle

    You did not include Walmart. Why not?

    They cut deals with politicians… they under pay their employees. The employees can’t even afford health care. Guess who rubber stamps that… the local politicians.

    Walmart moves into an area… ALL small businesses are wiped out. They can’t compete.

  • Miss Thang

    yes. I haven’t shopped at Wal-Mart in about 6 years.

  • Storm’s Rage!

    H8ll, they need to help. I am quite sure they are getting sick tax breaks, esp Amazon.

  • justsayin

    Why is it just Amazon and Starbucks. These are targeted business. Why isn’t Walmart, Time Warner, Big Banks, Goggle, FaceBook, Twitter, Apple and other big business, being required to do the same.