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Seattle head tax is repealed, so what’s next?

In a stunning reversal without parallel in Seattle’s recent political history, the City Council yesterday voted 7-2 — over shouts from a raucous crowd — to repeal a head tax on large employers. Council President Bruce Harrell, right, listens to testimony. The repeal of the $275-per-employee tax marks a victory for Amazon and other big businesses that would have paid the tax and have been funding a referendum campaign against it. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

Council President Bruce Harrell, right, listens to testimony during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)
Council President Bruce Harrell, right, listens to testimony during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

Key points on the head tax

Was the vote legal? Open-government advocates say the mayor and City Council may have deliberated outside a public meeting, which would violate state law.
Many Seattle businesses say they’re committed to tackling the homelessness crisis, but how will they do it without head-tax money? The solution remains elusive.
The City Council is blaming almost everyone else for this fail, including you, columnist Danny Westneat writes.

Need to know

Ready for some World Cup action, Seattle? A joint bid between the U.S., Canada and Mexico this morning won the rights to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup of soccer. Seattle is one of 17 U.S. cities that may host matches, though the artificial turf at CenturyLink Field would have to be replaced with natural grass. Tomorrow, World Cup 2018 kicks off, with host Russia against Saudi Arabia.

Brace for it, Office users. Your online world is about to shift. Microsoft says it is making changes in Office. Here’s a guide to the changes for you and the other billion-plus users.

Be careful out there, walkers and bike riders: A new state report finds pedestrian and bicyclist deaths have doubled over four years. The report blames, in part, speed limits of 30 mph or greater on some city streets, distracted driving, and walkers and bikers impaired by drugs and alcohol.

What we’re talking about

President Trump is back in D.C. after his meeting with North Korea’s leader, tweeting this morning that “everybody can now feel much safer” since there’s “no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.” Trump’s post-summit comments are drawing an angry reaction from human-rights activists. And California billionaire Tom Steyer was in Seattle yesterday to campaign for Trump’s impeachment. Listen as he fields questions from reporter Jim Brunner on our podcast, The Overcast.

Earl Thomas wasn’t at Seahawks minicamp yesterday. Pete Carroll says they “really wish he was here” but that the Hawks have resigned themselves to tweaking with different safety configurations in Thomas’ absence. Larry Stone says it’s unlikely that we will see Thomas back in a Seahawks uniform this season.

Prepare for more megamergers, now that AT&T has the green light on its $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner (here’s a quick way to catch up on that). Yesterday’s ruling could open the floodgates to deal-making among big cable, satellite and phone companies. Consumers will see the effects.

Worth a read

Summer solstice is near, and that means the Fremont Solstice Parade is this weekend. Here’s what you need to know about this year’s event. ICYMI, here is our guide to summer in the Puget Sound region and an interactive tool for planning your summer calendar.

Over the last couple of years, in just about every sport imaginable, the Huskies have been vaulting up rankings and making noise on a national scale.Could we be witnessing the dawn of a new golden age of UW athletics?

“Chaos” is how an immigrant advocate describes trying to learn more about about 200 people sent to a SeaTac federal detention center by immigration authorities. Still unknown is how many of those at the prison were separated from their children.

Nearly four years ago, the Marysville-Pilchuck High School freshmen were initiated into that most tragic and growing American institution: school-shooting survivors. Today, they’re graduating.

A Bellevue-based gaming studio rocked the house at E3 with its stunning 8-minute trailer for the much anticipated “Ghost of Tsushima.” Watch it here, plus more from the mega gaming expo.


A handful of Puget Sound school districts are forcing parents of 5-year-olds to choose between attending school on the first day of kindergarten and observing a religious holiday. That’s a choice no parent should have to make,writes The Seattle Times editorial board.

Today’s weather

Morning showers, cloudy. High 63. Low 52. Sunrise 5:10. Sunset 9:07.

Today in history

A mock bombing raid is enacted before 35,000 spectators at UW’s Husky Stadium in 1943, to demonstrate how defense organizations would respond in case of an enemy attack. During World War II, the Puget Sound region is considered a likely target for Japanese planes. In part of the demonstration, exploding gas bombs envelop “victims,” who take off contaminated clothes and wash themselves in water.

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