The city of Seattle, WA is considering the placement of a tax on big businesses that would charge them $0.26/hour per employee during the years of 2019 and 2020. The tax would then become a 0.7% payroll tax from 2021 onward.
Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy said on Wednesday it’s “super dangerous” for Seattle to consider taxing large companies — and risk dampening job creation — to offset the effects of gentrification and homelessness.
In particular, Jassy was critical of the proposed “head tax,” which would apply to 585 businesses with $20 million or more in yearly revenue, according to The Seattle Times. Those companies would pay a tax of 26 cents per full-time employee per hour for 2019 and 2020, which would convert to a 0.7 percent payroll tax after that.
In 2015, Seattle and King County declared a state of emergency over the rising number of homeless people in the area, calling it “just as devastating to thousands as flood or fire.” Proponents of the so-called head tax say that the businesses who have benefited from Seattle’s economic boom can afford to contribute to programs that mitigate rising rents.
But Jassy told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” on Wednesday that he felt the city would be better off “working with the business community.”
“I would say that things like the head tax in Seattle I think are super dangerous for cities to implement. What company is going to want to start — or move to or grow in — a city that penalizes them for hiring full-time employees?” Jassy said.
Read more here.