Microsoft has joined a group of major organizations in Seattle to back a bill that will leverage tax to help the homeless. Under the proposal, big businesses and their employees would have to pay a tax if they make more than $150,000 per year.
Money made from the new income tax would be put towards affordable housing projects and other homelessness initiatives and public safety. Joining Microsoft in backing the bill were other regional giants such as Costco, Alaska Air, Amazon, Starbucks, and Expedia.
According to Bloomberg, all the companies would agree to pay the tax if the bill is enacted.
In a joint statement accompanying the endorsement, the organizations pointed to local funds going towards local issues.
“We think the most high impact way to contribute to meet those needs is in the form of a new business tax imposed at a reasonable level with accountability for results in homelessness and affordable housing,” the statement reads.
“We are encouraged by the effort in Olympia that would provide additional affordable housing and services to address the homelessness and public safety crisis but we believe it is critical that this legislation include a regional approach to address a regional issue.”
The bill has been proposed in Washington State and will give King County the power to issue the taxation. All the major corporations listed are headquartered in King County.
House Bill 2907 was introduced in the state on Wednesday. Around 12,000 people are homeless in the Seattle area, the third most in the United States behind New York and Los Angeles.