News
Danny McCance 16 May 2018 04:15pm

Amazon anger at Seattle business tax

After a stand-off with the city council Amazon has resumed construction on its 17-storey office building in downtown Seattle

The company has, however, cast doubt on its future investment in the US city.

Amazon is angry at an annual tax on jobs for big businesses, aimed at combatting homelessness in the city. In protest Amazon halted work on its new building two weeks ago, according to reports.

Despite this the Seattle City Council unanimously agreed on Monday to a $275 (£204) tax for each full time employee of any business operating in the city with revenue higher than $20m (£14.8m).

Amazon more than doubled its profits to $1.6bn (£1.19bn) in the first three months of 2018, according to its latest results. Its revenue grew 43% year-on-year to $51bn (£36.6bn)

Today,Amazon vice president Drew Herdener branded the Seattle council as “anti-business.”

“While we have resumed construction planning for Block 18, we remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council’s hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here,”

Herdener argued that the city of Seattle does not have a revenue issue, but a spending issue.

“City of Seattle revenues have grown dramatically from $2.8bn in 2010 to $4.2bn in 2017, and they will be even higher in 2018. This revenue increase far outpaces the Seattle population increase over the same time period.

“We are highly uncertain whether the city council’s anti-business positions or its spending inefficiency will change for the better,” added Herdener.

The tax, which is expected to raise $47m (£34.8m) a year, is due to come into effect in January 2019.

Earlier this year in the UK, a secret recording emerged in which it was suggested that the Treasury had attempted to influence HMRC in its treatment of Amazon.

Seattle City Council has been contacted for further comment.

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