Amazon halts new construction; Seattle backs down on business ta - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Amazon halts new construction; Seattle backs down on business tax

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SEATTLE, WA (AP) - Amazon balked and Seattle is backing down.

City leaders said they plan to repeal a tax on large companies such as Amazon and Starbucks as they face mounting pressure from businesses, an about-face just a month after unanimously approving the measure to help pay for efforts to combat a growing homelessness crisis.

Amazon and other businesses had sharply criticized the levy, and the online retail giant even temporarily halted construction planning on a new high-rise building near its Seattle headquarters in protest.

Mayor Jenny Durkan and seven of nine City Council members said Monday they would move forward to repeal the so-called head tax. A special council meeting is scheduled Tuesday, where a vote is expected.

Seattle's tax would have charged companies about $275 per full-time worker each year and raise roughly $48 million a year for affordable housing and homeless services.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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