Seattle City Council Hits Amazon with Huge Tax | Seattle Real Estate Podcast

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The Seattle City Council passed the JumpStart Tax, a payroll tax on the city’s biggest businesses and highest earners, including Amazon.

Join Sean Reynolds of the Seattle Real Estate Podcast as he discusses a new tax proposed by the Seattle City Council that taxes the top 3% of Seattle Big Business and redistributes to the people.

The Seattle City Council voted 7-2 recently to tax the largest companies in the city, the latest in a series of attempts to capture some of the wealth generated by Amazon, Expedia, and other big businesses to address critical challenges.

The legislation uses a tiered system of taxation, with the highest level designated for companies with annual payroll expenses of more than $1 billion.

It represents a major blow to Amazon, which fought the passage of a so-called head tax in 2018.

The tax didn’t garner support from Seattle’s business community, however, with the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce saying the tax “pins Seattle’s economic future on local businesses remaining strong, at a time when the depth and breadth of the crisis is still unfolding.”

The passage of the JumpStart tax could further accelerate Amazon’s move to secure office space outside of Seattle.

Amazon maintains an expansive Seattle footprint, but in recent years, it has moved to establish a presence in areas outside of the city. Amazon said last month it would lease 111,000 square feet of office space in Redmond for 600-plus employees. The company also has an office in suburban Bellevue, where it is building a 43-story tower, its largest yet.

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