Amazon has always been headquartered in or around the northwestern city of Seattle, but rumor has it the online shopping behemoth might soon abandon its hometown. According to My Northwest, Amazon is putting out “feelers” to begin expanding the company outside of Seattle, with the ultimate goal of leaving the Emerald City altogether.
The rumors first began circulating after the online giant took a poll of its Puget Sound employees that focused on alternative work locations. Cities mentioned in the poll included Bothell/Woodinville, Renton, Tacoma, Redmond, and Issaquah — all places close to, but outside, of Seattle’s border.
Screenshots of the poll were quickly posted on social media — particularly on websites such as Twitter and Reddit — and drew so much attention that a spokesperson publicly confirmed the poll’s authenticity. However, the spokesperson did not make any statements about a potential move.
The success of remote work necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic reportedly played a role in considering a move. Additionally, sources claimed that management is increasingly frustrated over the Seattle City Council’s hostile view of the company. In addition to raising taxes and fees imposed on the retailer, they are often cited as the cause of all Seattle’s woes.
Moreover, CEO Jeff Bezos has been often been the target of politicians such as Kshama Sawant, who has openly said that she wants to overthrow the company.
“We are coming for you,” she said in a video posted on Twitter, specifically addressing Bezos, according to Fox News.
However, it’s not just a lone councilwoman who views Amazon this way. Seattle has become increasingly progressive, and insiders have referenced many residents’ antagonistic views of the business, which many have called a symbol of capitalism.
“I think there’s no doubt that we’re going to hear several announcements over the next couple of weeks of some massive expansion by Amazon into Bellevue,” Windermere Chief Economist Matthew Gardner explained. “Really, it’s going to become one of those really bad-kept secrets.”
Meanwhile, employees at the company have voiced their approval of the potential measure.
“I think it’s clear to anyone living in Seattle that our local officials know only how to blame others for problems that our… public policy has created,” one worker noted. “I would definitely minimize my footprint in Seattle.”
However, economists have warned that the move would have a disastrous effect on Seattle’s budget, which has already been struggling as employees have worked from home throughout the COVID-19.
Bezos is not the only tycoon who is rebelling against increased taxation. As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, Elon Musk shared similar views.