Defying Amazon’s opposition, Seattle has a new affordable housing head tax

The e-Commerce company is the largest company to call Seattle home, occupying nearly one-fifth of its office space

New York Weekend Edition /
May.May 19, 2018 05:46 PM

Jeff Bezos. (Credit from left: Max Pixel; DoD photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)

Seattle’s biggest employer is rethinking the city after its introduction of a new tax on employees.

The city introduced a $275 tax on each employee that companies must pay the city; the government in turn is allocated those funds to pay for affordably housing and services for homeless people, according to the Seattle Times.

The tax was reduced after businesses headquartered in the city, led by Amazon, opposed the move, which was initially supposed to charge companies $500 per employee. The smaller tax will now bring in $50 million to the city.

When the tax was first proposed Amazon, who has more than 45,000 employees in Seattle and holds an office portfolio of more than 8 million square feet in the city, responded by halting its plans for a new ground-up office tower and a sublease in a new skyscraper currently under construction, which were estimated to provide space for 7,000 more Amazon employees.

Once the lesser tax was adopted earlier this week, Amazon announced its new building, Block 18 (the company names all its buildings), was back on track, but the damage was done.

“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,” Drew Herdener, Amazon’s vice president of communications , told the Times.

Meanwhile, cities competing to be crowned the new location of Amazon’s second headquarters, voiced concern over the company’s response to local lawmakers’ proposal.

“I absolutely find it unacceptable to see politically threatening behavior as is occurring there,” Denver city council member Robin Kniech told the New York Times. Denver is one of 20 cities on Amazon’s shortlist of its HQ2. “It certainly doesn’t send a message that you expect to be a part of the community.”

The HQ2 competition generated debate among lawmakers nationally over whether or not to give Amazon tax breaks, after the company specifically requested incentives as part of its request for proposals. [Seattle Times]Erin Hudson


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag
All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag
All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag
(Getty Images)
Housing affordability is worst on record, data shows
Housing affordability is worst on record, data shows
198 Scholes Street, 65 Kent Avenue, 506 DeKalb Avenue and 11 Gunther Place (Illustration by the Real Deal with Getty, Google Maps)
Avi Philipson deal to acquire All Year portfolio is back on
Avi Philipson deal to acquire All Year portfolio is back on
A photo illustration of Governor of New York Kathy Hochul (Getty)
Gov. Yimby? Hochul promises housing blitz next year
Gov. Yimby? Hochul promises housing blitz next year
From left: McSam Hotel Group's Sam Chang and SL Green's Marc Holliday with 711 Seventh Avenue  (Getty, Google Mpas, SL Green)
Times Square hotel developer sues neighbors over delayed demolition
Times Square hotel developer sues neighbors over delayed demolition
A photo illustration of NYCHA interim CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt (Getty, NYCHA)
NYCHA tenants’ rent arrears surge to $443M
NYCHA tenants’ rent arrears surge to $443M
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
Developer fires back as Saddle River blocks affordable housing
Developer fires back as Saddle River blocks affordable housing
Garden Communities' Brett Tanzman with 800 Sylvan Avenue (Loopnet, Getty, Rutgers)
Development underway on former Unilever hub in Englewood Cliffs
Development underway on former Unilever hub in Englewood Cliffs
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...