Seattle has a thriving tech scene. (19459007) AMZN is headquartered there with Microsoft ( MSFT ) in nearby Redmond, Washington. Apple ( AAPL ) who already has an office in the city, will now add more engineering and data science positions.
While cities are eager to attract successful businesses (see bidding war against Amazon's so-called HQ2 and its 50,000 well-paid jobs), they can also focus on regions. The San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle both have massive homeless and affordable housing issues.
"As Seattle continues to grow, we must act swiftly to cope with the pressures that follow ̵
1; from tackling affordability to new affordable housing to increasing transit" Mayor Jenny A. Durkan said in a statement on Monday.
In 2017, more than 21,500 applications were received for only 3,500 seats available through a Seattle housing lottery that helps low-income individuals pay their monthly rent in privately owned homes.
In recent years, Seattle has attempted to introduce a main tax per employee of companies generating at least $ 20 million of its annual turnover in Seattle. The tax was expected to generate $ 75 million a year, which would have been used to build affordable housing and combat homelessness.
Sponsors of the tax bill said that the influx of workers paid more than existing residents leads to a higher cost of housing, which is a major cause of homelessness. This worsens when building affordable housing is not a priority.
The effort found limited success but eventually failed under pressure from companies like Amazon, which is the largest private sector employer in the city. At that time, an Amazon leader said the company was "worried about the future created" at the bill and that it was forced to question the growth of Seattle.
Seattle has limited ways of raising money for public works because it is prohibited from having a Washington tax on income. It depends on sales tax, property tax and business tax.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, major technology companies have launched initiatives to combat the area's ongoing homelessness. In June, Google announced a $ 1 billion donation to help build affordable housing. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also recently announced a partnership to create affordable housing that includes donations from both his company and charity.