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Seattle Scales Back Tax in Face of Amazon’s Revolt, but Tensions Linger

SEATTLE — After intense lobbying by local businesses and a bold threat by Amazon to curtail development in its hometown, the Seattle City Council on Monday approved a smaller and more limited tax on big companies than originally envisioned.The new tax — dubbed the “Amazon Tax” by locals — will fund affordable housing and homeless services in a city whose economic boom, driven in no small part by Amazon, has priced many residents out of the area and forced some onto the streets.Amazon, which halted two major expansion projects in Seattle in protest over the larger tax increase, said it was disappointed even with the smaller tax…

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One Goal of Amazon’s HQ2: Learn the Lessons of Seattle

Amazon’s search for a second headquarters has been a pageant of finalist cities doing everything they can to woo the company and the good jobs and huge construction projects it would bring. The most controversial part of the process has been the big tax incentives that some state and local governments have offered Amazon, seen by critics as ineffective corporate giveaways.Photo Home prices in Seattle are growing faster than those in any other large city. Credit Kyle Johnson for The New York Times Amazon wrapped up its visits in mid-April to all 20 finalist locations for its HQ2, as Amazon calls its second headquarters. The company is…

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What Amazon’s New Headquarters Could Mean for Rents

A recent Elon University poll of residents in the finalist cities found that while relatively few residents outright oppose Amazon moving to their city, only 43 percent strongly supported such a move. Residents in many cities said they were concerned that Amazon’s arrival would increase the cost of living and opposed offering special incentives to attract the company.In Nashville, the debate over HQ2 has gotten caught up in a broader discussion of gentrification, race and the consequences of growth. Residents long described Nashville as a small town disguised as a big city. But over the last decade, the city’s tourism industry has taken off, and some of…

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