Seattle Mayor Durkan: Amazon tax ‘won’t help us’ through outbreak

May 6, 2020, 9:27 AM | Updated: 10:20 am

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan spoke out in a recent interview against a proposed big business tax from Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Tammy Morales.

Sawant: Amazon tax ‘only thing’ that can rescue Seattle economy

Speaking to Snapchat’s Peter Hamby on Good Luck America, Durkan claimed the tax wouldn’t actually pay dividends to Seattleites in the near term as the city grapples with the fallout from the coronavirus crisis.

The proposal would levy a 1.3% tax on the top 2% of Seattle businesses measured by payroll. The city would then distribute a series of $500 checks to members of the population hit hardest by the virus. After the outbreak is over, the tax would then fund affordable housing and Green New Deal policies.

But because it won’t begin collecting money until 2022, the measure will require the city to borrow money from other existing programs, and then use the tax to pay that money back later on with interest.

“We won’t get any of those revenues from that tax for two years because of the way the systems that have to be set up. So it won’t help us this year,” Durkan pointed out.

Sawant pushes Amazon tax to raise $500 million for coronavirus relief

Beyond that, she has concerns about the ability to project revenue from the tax given the uncertainty presented by businesses closed during the state’s ongoing stay-at-home order.

“We don’t know yet how many businesses will be taxed because we have thousands of businesses closed, like all over the country, and we don’t know which ones would still be here so it’s almost impossible to project,” she noted.

Durkan instead advocated for other progressive taxes not just in Seattle, but at the state level. That wish list includes an income tax, a capital gains tax, and repealing the sales tax.

“I do think that the change should come statewide and that every city and every county in the state should not have to be using regressive taxes to provide basic city services,” she detailed.

MyNorthwest News

Image: A Renton Police Department vehicle...

Julia Dallas

Teen turns himself in after deadly Renton shooting

Renton police were sent to reports of a shooting after a 16-year-old man called in saying he shot someone.

9 hours ago

Photo: Israeli Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran, in cent...

Tia Goldenberg and Josef Federman, The Associated Press

Israel is quiet on next steps against Iran — and on which partners helped shoot down missiles

On Sunday, Israel's leaders credited an international military coalition with helping thwart a direct attack from Iran.

10 hours ago

Photo: The Gorge Amphitheater campgrounds....

Julia Dallas

Families of Gorge shooting victims suing festival organizers

A lawsuit against Live Nation alleges the entertainment company did not enforce measures to prevent the Gorge shooting.

14 hours ago

Camas, Washington. (Photo:

Bill Kaczaraba

From mill town to top-ranked living destination: Washington city stands out

Once a mill town, Camas, Washington, has earned accolades as one of the premier places to reside in the United States.

15 hours ago

Photo: At 6:39 a.m., Eastside Fire crews extinguished most of the fire at a Snoqualmie business....

Julia Dallas

Crews put out fire that engulfs Snoqualmie business

The flames took over a business in the 8100 block of Railroad Avenue Southeast in Snoqualmie Sunday morning.

17 hours ago

Costco vs. Boeing...

Bill Kaczaraba

A study in contrasts: Costco vs. Boeing

In the state of Washington, two corporate giants stand out: Costco and Boeing. A recent poll conducted by Portland-based DMH Research sheds light on how we perceive these companies and other major players like Amazon, Starbucks, and Microsoft. The study, obtained by MyNorthwest, polled 500 adults across the region. The poll measured residents’ “perceptions of […]

1 day ago

Seattle Mayor Durkan: Amazon tax ‘won’t help us’ through outbreak