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Head tax for homeless opposed by charity for homeless

(KIRO 7 screengrab)

By Essex Porter

The 96-year-old Millionair Club Charity serves the homeless in Seattle.

So, when 91 Seattle businesses signed a letter opposing a proposed $100 head tax, it was a surprise to find the first signature was that of Jim Miller, the director of Millionair Club.

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When asked why he’s against the head tax, he responded, “As an organization, we really rely on the employers in the community to reach out and hire those who we’re training for jobs in the hospitality industry, jobs in the construction industry, for landscaping jobs, for janitorial jobs.”

Supporters of the head tax spoke at the City Council on Monday.

“I was woke up last night to wind and rain and I could only think of all the people outside, so please … include the tax on large businesses in the 2018 budget.”

But Miller fears a head tax will mean less work for the homeless people he finds jobs for.

RELATED: Could the per-head business tax hurt Seattle staple Bartell Drugs?

“Any barrier to that for a business that has to make a value judgment on do I pay the $100, do I bring somebody in, do I use temporary staffing to meet my business needs — at the end of the day, we want to be very supportive of the business community.”

Council members are expected to take their first vote on the head tax during Tuesday’s budget debate.

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