Local artist adds homeless tents to Seattle skyline LEGO creation

SEATTLE -- A local man has created a unique display highlighting the homelessness crisis.

Iain Heath built a version of Seattle's skyline made of LEGOs -- featuring homeless tents to symbolize the growing problem.

Heath told Q13 News on Tuesday that the recent Seattle Employee Hours Tax debate and noticing more homeless people on the streets inspired him to add the tents to his display.

"So I just had this spark and idea when I realized that LEGO makes a range of sets of skylines of famous cities, but there isn't one of Seattle. So I thought I'd do one -- but with tents as a little artistic commentary on the problem," Heath said. "As an artist, a lot of my work is frivolous in nature and the chance to use it to speak to something important to my town is a wonderful opportunity."

Heath said he's been building custom LEGO models for ten years now.

The Seattle City Council voted 7-2 Tuesday to repeal a controversial new "Amazon tax" on employers that it passed unanimously just a month ago.

The tax, which was scheduled to take effect in January 2019, amounted to $275 a year per full-time employee of the highest grossing businesses in Seattle. It would have raised roughly $47 million a year on average and expired after five years.

The revenue was intended to help fight the city's homelessness and affordable housing problems. Seattle's lack of an income tax narrows the city council's options in terms of how to raise money for public policy efforts.