Seattle City Council faces deadline to turn over 'head tax' repeal documents

The Seattle City Council has until Friday to meet a judge’s deadline to turn over all documents related to internal communications about whether to repeal a “head tax” that would have charged large businesses to raise money to combat widespread homelessness, the Seattle Times reported.

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The council is being sued for allegedly holding a meeting in which seven of its nine members decided to repeal the head tax, which had been unanimously approved just weeks earlier. The plaintiff, James Egan, alleges the meeting took place in violation of laws that require public officials to disclose such gatherings.

A spokesman for the attorney representing the city council told the Seattle Times that officials “fully intend to comply” with the request.

A Seattle City Council representative did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment on the deadline.

The council voted 7-2 to repeal the “head tax,” which had drawn sharp criticism from the city’s largest employers, including Amazon and Starbucks. The vote took place at a special meeting about one month after the tax was approved. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan also supported a repeal.

Before the repeal, the measure called on companies with annual revenue of $20 million or more to pay $275 per employee per year toward the city’s efforts to address widespread homelessness with affordable housing, homeless shelters and other initiatives. Leading companies argued they already pay their fair share of taxes.

“Today’s vote by the Seattle City Council to repeal the tax on job creation is the right decision for the region’s economic prosperity,” Amazon vice president and spokesman Drew Herdener said in a statement at the time of the repeal. “We are deeply committed to being part of the solution to end homelessness in Seattle and will continue to invest in local nonprofits like Mary’s Place and FareStart that are making a difference on this important issue.”