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131 businesses — but not Amazon — sign letter opposing head tax

caption: The sun sets on downtown Seattle on Friday, October 27, 2017, shown from Harbor Ave. Southwest.
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The sun sets on downtown Seattle on Friday, October 27, 2017, shown from Harbor Ave. Southwest.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

More than a hundred heads of Seattle companies are saying no to Seattle’s head tax proposal. In an open letter to the Seattle City Council, they say it doesn’t make sense to punish businesses for creating jobs.

The letter’s signatories include the heads of Alaska Airlines, Tableau, and Expedia.

Read the letter and see a full list of the signatories.

They say they want a seat at the table with labor and City Council members to find solutions for the problems of fast growth: housing, homelessness and infrastructure.

"We will gladly help convene our city’s business leaders, labor leaders, and Council members, to collectively design a plan that works for all groups," the letter says.

The tax would force big employers to pay the city of Seattle for each employee and every hour worked. The letter says that the message being sent to businesses is that they will be punished for creating jobs.

"This is like telling a classroom that the students who do the most homework will be singled out for detention," the letter states.

The letter goes on to offer other possible approaches, including a mix of taxes and new zoning policies.

Signatories to the letter included CEOs that would not directly be impacted by the tax. One company that would be greatly affected is Amazon, but their executives did not sign the letter.

The company has already said it is putting 7,000 jobs on hold because of concern over the head tax.

The tax is expected to raise $75 million for affordable housing and fighting homelessness. The council is expected to vote on it Monday.

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