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Watch: KOMO town hall takes on controversial business tax

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KOMO News hosted a special Town Hall Thursday night on the tax on large businesses that the Seattle City Council approved on Monday.

The town hall will also air on KOMO 4 at 1:05 a.m. Sunday, May 20.

WATCH: KOMO Town Hall on Seattle' business tax:

KOMO anchor Mary Nam and lead city reporter Matt Markovich moderated the town hall, which included guests on both sides of the issue.

The participants were:

Courtney O’Toole, an organizer of the Housing for All Coalition

Jon Scholes, president of the Downtown Seattle Association

Jacob Vigdor, a professor of public policy at the University of Washington

Ari Hoffman, a local businessman.

The tax will raise about $48 million a year – less than the original proposal of $75 million but more than the $40 million that Mayor Jenny Durkan had proposed. The will be used help Seattle's homeless population by providing more services and affordable housing.

Amazon, downtown Seattle's economic giant, immediately blasted the proposal in what it said was a, "hostile approach to larger businesses that forces us to question our grown here." Starbucks also slammed the new tax and questioned the city's accountability. The Seattle Chamber of Commerce raised concerns as well.

But several councilmembers say the money is desperately needed.

Is Seattle about to be seen as not being business friendly and what about the people this tax is designed to help?

Some homeless have rejected city services and want to remain living on the streets. Some taxpayers just want the city to explain where all the money is being spent.

Advocates for the homeless say the tax could help ease the homeless crisis.

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Join us for this complex and fiery issue at the heart of one of Seattle’s most challenging issues – what to do with the homeless and lack of housing affordability in Seattle.

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