In Washington state, neither state or local government are allowed to tax income. In addition, state law caps real estate tax increases to no more than 1% a year.
“It’s a very challenging environment in which to raise revenues. So from that unique perspective, the proposed tax on workers seems like the best available to Seattle right now,” said Matthew Gardner, a senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a Washington D.C.-based, non-partisan non-profit, focused on federal, state and local tax reform issues.
At the same time, Amazon has a well-deserved reputation for aggressively avoiding taxes. In fact, it chose Washington state as its home in part because of its small population, allowing the company to make most of its sales where it had no physical presence and therefore wasn’t required to pay sales tax.
“Amazon appears to have built its business plan from day one on avoiding taxes,” Gardner said. Read more