SEATTLE – Do not sit on the sidelines – help us. That's Tuesday's Seattle City Council President reaction after Amazon and Starbucks beat councilors after the controversial trade tax vote.
The criticism targets the city's response to homelessness and reveals an apparent lack of confidence.
"My Reaction Thank you for the criticism, now that you've started it, come to the table and talk to us," said Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell.
Harrell repeated what he told Monday night to a divided and crowded city hall.
"I think we're doing our best and it's not good enough," he said.
Big affected companies in Seattle called the tax "misguided" and "punitive" for job creation.
Even After a scaled-down version that reduced the tax per employee from $ 500 to $ 275 a year for five years, Amazon and Starbucks did not hold back.
In a statement, Amazon partly said the city "… does not have an income problem, it has an expenditure-efficiency problem."
Starbucks also slammed the council with a statement that read in part: "… nobody believes that they will be able to make housing affordable or to address opiate addiction. "
" Many of us are actually quite capable of being frugal and know exactly how to spend money, many of us have experience in the investment strategy, "said Harrell.
The new business tax is estimated to bring in $ 48 million to create affordable housing and homeless services.
"Honestly, I think we can do much more to end homelessness," said Sharon Lee, executive director of the Low Income Housing Institute.
Lee runs the nonprofit organization, which offers 2,000 affordable housing units and operates three hygiene centers in Seattle.
In the centers known as Urban Rest Stop, who is homeless, can bathe and wash clothes for free
Lee said the city had made a mistake when the previous administration had "defused" the municipal rest area of the university district.
She claims that it could be one of the most important and vital services associated with the affordable housing shortage and the long wait and expensive costs associated with building new units.
"That's why we need to stress emergency solutions and crisis response," Lee said. She said the new government recognized the value and found a way to put dollars back into the city's rest stations.
Harrell insists that the homelessness crisis can only be overcome by ignoring all stakeholders, including lawyers like Lee and all employers like Amazon and Starbucks
"Sit at the table, talk to us." This is the beginning of a discussion, not the end, "Harrell said," move on to the table and help us solve these issues, see them the way we see them. "
Amazon took over the building design for a building in the city center after abruptly interrupting work during the tax debate.
But the online retail giant added that growth in Seattle is questionable
CLAIM: Will the US $ 48 million poll tax make a notable difference in Seattle's homeless crisis? Answer the pill below or click here.