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Amazon puts Seattle office tower on hold over affordable housing tax plans

Amazon puts Seattle office tower on hold over affordable housing tax plans
[Photo: courtesy of Amazon]

The internet shopping giant has announced it is reconsidering its plans for a new office building in downtown Seattle, reports Reuters. The building would have housed 7,000 new jobs and supported additional businesses. So why is Amazon doing this?

The company isn’t happy with a proposed tax on top businesses in the area. The tax proposal would be an employee hours tax that would transition into a payroll tax in 2021. It’s estimated Seattle would generate more than $75 million a year from that tax–most of which it would then spend on building affordable housing in the city. But that extra tax isn’t something Amazon likes. Drew Herdener, a company VP, said in a statement:

“Pending the outcome of the head tax vote by City Council, Amazon has paused all construction planning on our Block 18 project in downtown Seattle and is evaluating options to sub-lease all space in our recently leased Rainer Square building.”

The Seattle city council is scheduled to vote on the new tax proposal on May 14.

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