Seattle’s fallen ‘head tax’ may still be a thing — in California | KUOW News and Information

Seattle’s fallen ‘head tax’ may still be a thing — in California

Jun 14, 2018

The Seattle City Council brought the short-lived "head tax" into the world last month — and last Tuesday, the council proved that it could take it out too.

The dramatic repeal arrived after business backlash to the tax to pay for homelessness services and affordable housing.

Now Mountain View, California — home to Google parent company Alphabet — is considering a similar measure. If passed, the tax levy would raise 50 percent of its revenue from Google and its subsidiaries. 

But there are some quirks to the California process. For one thing, if the Mountain View City Council passes the measure, it will go to the voters as a November ballot initiative.

That would make it much harder for Google to fight the tax directly, says MarketWatch's Jeremy Owens. He spoke with Bill Radke about the challenges faced by Bay Area communities, and the likelihood that the measure will pass come fall.