So there’s this idea to help address homelessness. It’s a tax on high-grossing businesses, and a lot of them want no part of it. To back up: Last fall our city council decided not to pass a head tax — that’s a tax employers pay per each of their employees — that would have raised $25 million per year to take on our homelessness crisis. They asked a task force to think through more ways we could raise that money, and the group came back last month with its recommendation: a head tax that would raise $75 million per year.
The leaders of three influential business groups wrote an op-ed in The Seattle Times to diss the head tax, saying that 1) local businesses are already doing plenty, 2) the city’s approach to homelessness isn’t working, and 3) throwing more money at the problem isn’t going to solve it. In response, members of the task force took their own case to the Times. A new head tax will help, they said, because 1) people need housing more than they need anything else, 2) the city doesn’t have enough money to build enough of it, and 3) no one — including the business associations — has come up with a better way to raise it. 💰
Trump vs. Bezos. The richest man in the world is in a feud with one of the most powerful. President Trump has been posting tweets attacking Amazon, our hometown tech giant, for exploiting subsidies and avoiding sales taxes — and they’ve had an effect. On Monday, Amazon’s stock dropped a whole 5 percent. Is this political, or personal? Maybe both. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, and Trump really isn’t a fan. (Vanity Fair)
We’re losing a favorite. Phnom Penh Noodle House, a Cambodian restaurant and “neighborhood staple” in the International District, is closing next month after 30 years. The reason’s just heartbreaking: Devin, the son of co-owner Dawn Ung, was hit by a car last fall. He’s been in a coma ever since, and it’s taken on the toll on the family. “I’m really sad. I’m sad about Devin. I’m sad because I love their food,” Maiko Winkler-Chin, the head of the neighborhood’s development and preservation authority, told the Ron Chew of the International Examiner. “It was the epitome of a family-owned business that gave back unselfishly to support our community.” Want to stop in? They’re closed on Wednesdays, but serve deliciousness all day long the rest of the week. (International Examiner)
There’s no place like Seattle. But then again … there kind of is. Plug any big U.S. city into this handy online tool and it’ll tell you you what other U.S. cities are most like it, based on an interesting and apparently telling metric — the kinds of jobs people hold. So which cities are most like ours? Boston in the northeast, Atlanta in the south, and Dallas on the other side of the political spectrum. (The New York Times)