LOCAL NEWS

Amazon reacts to Seattle head tax and ‘hostile’ rhetoric

May 14, 2018, 5:45 PM | Updated: May 15, 2018, 6:21 am
Amazon, tax...
Amazon's headquarters in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Hours after the Seattle City Council passed a head tax on the city’s largest businesses Monday, Amazon and Starbucks issued statements.

RELATED: Seattle Mayor Durkan responds to council passage of head tax

Amazon is grateful that the city amended its head tax proposal to a lesser amount, but notes that it is wary of city leaders’ attitudes toward business.

Amazon’s statement is attributed to Vice President Drew Herdener:

We are disappointed by today’s city council decision to introduce a tax on jobs. 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. City of Seattle revenues have grown dramatically from $2.8 billion in 2010 to $4.2 billion in 2017, and they will be even higher in 2018. This revenue increase far outpaces the Seattle population increase over the same time period. The city does not have a revenue problem — it has a spending efficiency problem. We are highly uncertain whether the city council’s anti-business positions or its spending inefficiency will change for the better.

As the council was debating the head tax over the past month, Amazon halted construction on its expanding headquarters in South Lake Union.

Starbucks: Leaders are looking for someone to blame

Starbucks continued to criticize the city’s leadership. The company released this statement, attributed to John Kelly, senior vice president of Global Public Affairs and Social Impact at Starbucks:

“This City continues to spend without reforming and fail without accountability, while ignoring the plight of hundreds of children sleeping outside. If they cannot provide a warm meal and safe bed to a five year-old child, no one believes they will be able to make housing affordable or address opiate addiction. This City pays more attention to the desires of the owners of illegally parked RVs than families seeking emergency shelter.”

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Amazon reacts to Seattle head tax and ‘hostile’ rhetoric