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Amazon, Starbucks and 50+ businesses pledge money to repeal Seattle head tax

SEATTLE  — Amazon, Starbucks, Vulcan and several dozen companies have pledged more than $350,000 toward an effort to repeal Seattle's newly passed tax on large employers.

The Seattle City Council on May 14 unanimously passed the so-called head tax that will charge businesses making at least $20 million in gross revenues about $275 per full-time worker each year. Money raised would pay for affordable housing and homeless services.

Days later, the No Tax On Jobs campaign, a coalition of businesses, began gathering signatures to put a referendum on the November ballot that would repeal the tax, which would start in 2019.

Seattle election records show that Amazon, Starbucks, Vulcan, Kroger and Albertsons each pledged $25,000 to the effort. The Washington Food Industry Association pledged $30,000.

Backers will have to gather 17,632 signatures of registered Seattle voters by June 14.