Amazon halts Seattle construction project ahead of tax vote

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon says it has halted construction planning on a high-rise building in Seattle while it awaits the outcome of a city proposal to tax worker hours.

The City Council is considering a proposed “head tax” on high-grossing businesses to raise about $75 million annually for affordable housing and homelessness services. Amazon would pay more than $20 million under the proposal.

Supporters say businesses that have benefited from Seattle’s economic boom should help pay for solutions.

Amazon vice president Drew Herdener said in a statement Wednesday the company has put on hold construction planning for the building pending a council vote on the tax and is evaluating options to sub-lease space in another downtown building.

Together they would accommodate about 7,000 new Amazon jobs.

The Seattle Times first reported the news.