Seattle repeals tax on companies like Amazon

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle leaders have repealed a tax on large companies such as Amazon and Starbucks after businesses fought the measure aimed at combating a growing homelessness crisis.

The City Council voted 7-2 Tuesday to reverse a tax that it unanimously approved just a month ago to help provide services in the city. The Seattle region has one of the highest homelessness numbers in the U.S.

Amazon, Starbucks and other businesses sharply criticized the tax as misguided.

The online retailer, the city’s largest employer, even temporarily halted construction planning on a new high-rise building near its Seattle headquarters in protest.

Mayor Jenny Durkan and a majority of the council have said they scrapped the tax to avoid a costly political fight as a coalition of businesses moved to get a referendum overturning the tax on the November ballot.