UNCATEGORIZED

Rantz: After attacks and taxes, Amazon looks to expand out of Seattle

Aug 13, 2020, 6:18 PM | Updated: Aug 14, 2020, 7:51 am
Masks, Amazon Spheres...
Masks being worn outside the Amazon spheres in downtown Seattle. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

After endless attacks from Seattle City Council, e-commerce giant Amazon appears to be putting out feelers for further expansion outside of Seattle. This could have crippling economic implications to the city.

In a daily poll to Puget Sound employees, Amazon asked its workers where they would rather work, in addition to Bellevue and Seattle. The options provided were Bothell/Woodinville, Renton, Tacoma, Redmond, and Issaquah. Amazon has confirmed the poll is authentic, screenshots of which appeared on social media and Reddit.

Amazon has already expanded to Bellevue, and may be ready to make some further moves.

The shrinking Amazon footprint in Seattle

Behind the scenes, I’m told Amazon has tired of Seattle City Council’s attitudes toward the company. The company isn’t just blamed for the city’s woes — from housing affordability to traffic — but its CEO, Jeff Bezos, is frequently used as the poster child for dangerous anti-capitalist attacks at the hands of socialist zealot Kshama Sawant.

And then, of course, is the legislation drafted to specifically target Amazon and similar businesses.

Recently, the council passed another anti-business tax, this one Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda’s jobs tax, dubiously titled JumpStart Seattle.

Amazon, and other qualifying businesses, will be taxed 1.4% for every employee making over $150,000, and 2.4% for employees making over $400,000. After it passed, experts noted it would likely push Amazon to ditch the city.

“I think there’s no doubt that we’re going to hear several announcements over the next couple of weeks of some massive expansion by Amazon into Bellevue,” Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner told KIRO Radio at the time. “Really, it’s going to become one of those really bad-kept secrets.”

An Amazon spokesperson would not provide a comment on the record.

How Bellevue wooed Amazon over to the Eastside

‘I would definitely’ leave

One Amazon employee, speaking to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH on the condition of anonymity, didn’t blame the company for considering a move or expansion elsewhere.

“Amazon seems to be evaluating its options for moving out of Seattle if necessary,” the employee explained. “I think it’s clear to anyone living in Seattle that our local officials know only how to blame others for problems that our city’s public policy has created. Amazon’s success in spite of the failures of Seattle’s city government make Amazon an easy target when looking for someone to blame.”

The employee said if they were the sole decision-maker, “I would definitely minimize my footprint in Seattle.”

Coronavirus changes business

Amazon routinely polls employees as the company plans its long-term growth in and out of the region. But during the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon, like many other companies, has seen success with a work-from-home model.

Retailer REI recently decided to ditch their future Bellevue-based headquarters for a hybrid approach of smaller satellite offices and remote-working opportunities.

The data Amazon gathers from this poll, along with what they’ve learned from the remote model they’ve adopted, could make them less reliant on Seattle-based operations. This would allow their workforce to live in more affordable cities not plagued by homelessness, addiction, and lawless activists.

Amazon departure could cripple Seattle’s economy

It’s unclear if Amazon would completely ditch Seattle for a neighboring city. It’s also unlikely in the short-term. But any lessening of the Amazon footprint could further destroy the Seattle economy. And it’s important to note that this poll went to area-employees, including those in Seattle. That means those who work in Seattle who say they want to leave Seattle play a crucial role in the future of Amazon’s footprint in the Emerald City.

Revenue projections for the city took another significant hit — $26 million — thanks to the coronavirus. Businesses propped up exclusively by Amazon employees have struggled. Some have already permanently closed. If Amazon allows its Seattle workers to work from home longer than anticipated, which cuts down on the maintenance and upkeep costs of their offices, the economic impacts will be felt. And, if the company were to close offices, it would be devastating.

Meanwhile, cities like the ones mentioned in the Amazon poll would see significant economic benefits at a time they’d need it most. Bellevue has earned the attention — and expansion — of Amazon for being business-friendly and driven less by ideological rigidity.

Rantz: Coronavirus scare foreshadows impacts if Amazon leaves Seattle

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter and Instagram or like me on Facebook

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Uncategorized

...
No Author

Enter to win Ringo Starr Tickets!

KIRO Newsradio has your chance to win two tickets to see Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band. They’re coming this fall to Benaroya Hall in Seattle on Tuesday, October 11th, 2022! See Ringo Starr live with Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Warren Ham, Gregg Bissonette, Hamish Stuart and Edgar Winter. The band is excited to play after […]
1 month ago
Kalles Junior High (Kalles Junior High PTSA Facebook)...
Dori Monson

Dori: ‘A huge step backward,’ says Puyallup mom of school meeting reserved for BIPOC community

"Alarming” and “surreal” are words a Puyallup mom uses to describe an event to discuss racism in Puyallup schools.
1 month ago
Worker Ruslan Trishchuk, 40, smokes a cigarette while taking a break outside the crematorium of Bai...
Associated Press

As Mariupol hangs on, the extent of the horror not yet known

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — As Mariupol’s defenders held out Monday against Russian demands that they surrender, the number of bodies in the rubble of the bombarded and encircled Ukrainian city remained shrouded in uncertainty, the full extent of the horror not yet known. With communications crippled, movement restricted and many residents in hiding, the fate […]
2 months ago
Sounder train...
MyNorthwest Staff

Sounder trains canceled between Seattle and Everett for landslide

Sound Transit has canceled Sounder N Line service between Seattle and Everett until Thursday due to a landslide that has covered the tracks.
4 months ago
Seattle garbage...
MyNorthwest Staff

Garbage, recycling pickup resumes for Seattle area

Garbage and recycling pickup resumes in Seattle after last week's snowstorm.
5 months ago
snow...
MyNorthwest Staff

Monday commuters to face icy roads across Puget Sound region

Freezing temperatures have settled in over Western Washington after a day of several inches of snow for most locations, creating an ice rink for commuters on Monday morning. 
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Rantz: After attacks and taxes, Amazon looks to expand out of Seattle