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Last Year, Amazon Paid No Federal Income Taxes. Now, It's Trying To Kill A Local Tax That Aims To Help the Homeless

After Amazon stocks soared last week - making founder Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, $12 billion richer - Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted that the company paid no federal income tax last year, which was confirmed by independent analysis on Thursday, and comes as Amazon is trying to kill a proposed tax that aims to end Seattle's homelessness crisis.

"You know what Amazon paid in federal income taxes last year?" Sanders said Monday. "Zero."

"He's right," PolitiFact declared. "We've taken a look at a series of exaggerated claims about Amazon in the past. But in this case, Sanders is on the money."

With no public tax return and no cooperation from Amazon, fact-checkers dug into the company's annual filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission. They found, based on a February 2018 filing, "that not only would the company not be paying anything in 2017 federal income taxes, but it would be getting a $137 million tax refund."

Fox News agrees.

PolitiFact's findings come as the company has halted massive expansion plans in its hometown of Seattle, in an apparent effort to bully the City Council into rejecting a tax measure that the New York Times reports "would charge large employers in the city about $500 per employee, with the money going to help alleviate a housing crisis" that the company has been accused of fueling.

Amazon vice president Drew Herdener confirmed to the Seattle Times "that pending the outcome of the head tax vote by the city council, Amazon has paused all construction planning on our Block 18 project in downtown Seattle and is evaluating options to sublease all space in our recently leased Rainier Square building." Those moves are jeopardizing plans to add 7,000 to 8,000 local jobs.

"I'm deeply concerned about the impact this decision will have on a large range of jobs - from our building trades, to restaurant workers, to nurses, manufacturing jobs, and tech workers," Mayor Jenny Durkan, who has supported the tax measure, responded in a statement.

"At the same time, our city must urgently address our homelessness and affordability crisis and lift up those who have been left behind. I fundamentally believe we can do both by working together," Durkan added, vowing to convene meetings with community leaders "to see how we might forge common ground in dealing with our challenges while keeping jobs."

Our Revolution, the progressive political group that grew out of Sanders' 2016 presidential run, noted that "Amazon is on pace to be the first trillion-dollar company - which makes it all the more despicable that it's extorting the city of Seattle over a modest tax to fund affordable housing in the city."

Sanders also weighed in on the company's recent decisions, tweeting: "This is what corporate power and oligarchy is all about."

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Previously in Amazon:

* Amazon Finally Drops Deceptive Price List Comparisons.

* Who Has Your Back? Not Amazon.

* Chicago's Attempt To Impress Amazon Backfired After It Destroyed A 'Priceless' Graffiti Artwork In HQ2 Bid Clean-Up.

* Amazon, Boeing, Chicago And Cautionary Tales.

Let's face it, the math doesn't matter - Rahm just wants the win. Like Scott Walker and Foxconn (and Richard M. Daley and the 2016 Olympics). It's a helluva thing to campaign on. "I got Amazon!" It doesn't matter how disastrous that might be - it's all about one man's political interests.

* Item: Amazon HQ2-fer.

"Later this year, Amazon will begin accepting grocery orders from customers using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the federal anti-poverty program formerly known as food stamps. As the nation's largest e-commerce grocer, Amazon stands to profit more than any other retailer when the $70 billion program goes online after an initial eight-state pilot," the Intercept reports.

"But this new revenue will effectively function as a double subsidy for the company: In Arizona, new data suggests that one in three of the company's own employees depend on SNAP to put food on the table. In Pennsylvania and Ohio, the figure appears to be around one in 10. Overall, of five states that responded to a public records request for a list of their top employers of SNAP recipients, Amazon cracked the top 20 in four."
the problem with amazon's short list

This is a long, in-depth report that demands particular attention here as Chicago vies for Amazon's "second headquarters" through a combination of begging, pleading, and massive tax subsidies contained in a secret offer we may never see.

Also, let's ask the mayor about this.

* Amazon's Same-Day Delivery Serves Basically All Of Chicago . . . Except The South Side.

* Amazon Insists On Silence From Twenty HQ2 Finalists.

* Lucy Parsons Labs Sues Rahm Emanuel To Jar Loose The Chicago's Amazon HQ2 Bid.

* CyberMonday, Amazon & You.

* Amazon Short-List Proves Something "Deeply Wrong" With America's Race-To-The-Bottom Economy.

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See also: About Chicago's Late Head Tax.

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Comments welcome.



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