JASON RANTZ

Zillow slams ‘head tax’ and may grow outside of Seattle

May 8, 2018, 12:09 PM | Updated: 3:39 pm
zillow...
The Zillow app. (KIRO Radio, Matt Pitman)
(KIRO Radio, Matt Pitman)

First Amazon says it’s holding off on a new construction project that would house new employees. It lead to a tense and embarrassing stand-off for Councilmember Kshama Sawant, as union iron workers called her out during a press conference.

Rantz: It was wrong to shut down Kshama Sawant

Now? Zillow jumps into the fray, slamming the Seattle head tax and claiming they may grow their company outside of Seattle as a result.

Speaking on a conference call to discuss first-quarter earnings, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff was asked about the head tax, which could add anywhere between $1 million and $4 million to their current tax burden. That, to Rascoff, is “misguided” and impacts growth.

“…the proposed Seattle head tax, we think, is misguided and too blunt of an instrument,” Rascoff said, according to Geekwire. “The impact on us, as currently proposed, would be somewhere between $1 million and maybe up to $4 million a year a couple of years from now. And we are actively trying to decide where to put the next couple hundred heads, and this is the type of thing that causes us to consider looking at putting that expansion in other cities where we have large presences. Cities like Phoenix, Denver, Irvine, Cincinnati, Lincoln, Neb., and others.”

RELATED: Key committee vote on head tax delayed after Amazon threat

Rascoff hopes the council and mayor find other ways to address homelessness. But there’s no reason to believe the council will back down. They’ve moved a meeting, with about 48 hours notice, to an earlier time that makes it difficult to attend — at least for those of us who work and aren’t bussed-in by activists groups. It’ll be up to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan to veto the bill and send back to the council where there doesn’t appear to be the votes to overturn.

RELATED: Seattle council says Amazon is making their head tax all about them

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Zillow slams ‘head tax’ and may grow outside of Seattle