Amazon Doing Battle With Seattle Over Proposed Tax Bill
Seattle, home to the IRS tax ID of tech giant Amazon, has been in a bit of tizzy, with the city council having proposed a new tax on the city’s big business aimed at addressing the issue of homelessness that has been plaguing the city, one that many companies in the city, the tech giant included, have been in opposition to.
Notably, the tech giant, is Seattle’s largest private employer, and have been closely watching the proposed legislation. In response to the proposal of the tax, the company halted construction on a development in the city’s northern area, and vowed that it would abandon any recently leased space in the city if the city council approves of the tax, aimed at raising $75 million annually.
Many companies with their IRS tax ID in Seattle, including Expedia and Starbucks, have also gone against the proposed bill. Amazon’s opposition, however, has garnered attention due to its hardball strategies that have taken the notice of the city council and the national media covering the bill.
Amazon is currently working on setting up its second headquarters, looking in cities across the country. The dispute embroiling Seattle is being watched by the elected officials who will have to deal with Amazon should the company decide to move in. The second headquarters is estimated to create at least 50,000 jobs, and it has narrowed down to 20 potential locations. Elected officials across the country have been trying to attract Amazon in order to get their names on the shortlist.
Seattle and nearby King County officially declared a state of emergency regarding the homelessness problem that has been plaguing them since 2015, but the cost of living in the area has only increased. The number of homeless students in Seattle’s public schools tripled in 2017, while about 23,000 Seattle households have half of their income go solely into covering housing costs.
Notably, Seattle’s home prices have skyrocketed to a median price of $777,000, with some attributing it to the tech firms that have moved in, turning the area into a sort of second Silicon Valley.
The supporters of the bill in the Seattle Council member, says that the city is currently suffering under skyrocketing home prices and a lack of available affordable housing. Some of them are saying that Amazon’s measures are a statement, threatening Americans with the loss of their jobs.