Bezos endorses higher corporate taxes for infrastructure

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos endorsed President Joe Biden’s focus on building up the country’s infrastructure Tuesday and said the company even supports a corporate tax rate hike to help pay for it.

Bezos’ statement, posted on the company’s website, was notable because it came after Biden singled out Amazon for criticism over how little the company pays in federal taxes when he recently unveiled his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal.

Biden has proposed hiking the U.S. corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% to help pay for his plan, an idea that Republican leaders are panning as harmful to economic growth. Democrats will surely cite support from individual companies to undercut that argument.

“We recognize this investment will require concessions from all sides—both on the specifics of what’s included as well as how it gets paid for (we’re supportive of a rise in the corporate tax rate),” Bezos wrote. “We look forward to Congress and the Administration coming together to find the right, balanced solution that maintains or enhances U.S. competitiveness.”

Bezos was careful not to endorse a specific plan. Rather, he said “we support the Biden Administration’s focus on making bold investments in American infrastructure.”

The company would benefit from the investments made in roads, bridges, airports and broadband. Business groups have joined in the call for more public works investment by the federal government, but they have generally balked at Biden’s call for raising the corporate income tax, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce describing Biden’s proposal as “dangerously misguided when it comes to how to pay for infrastructure.”

Along with partially undoing the corporate tax cut put in place during President Donald Trump’s administration, Biden also wants to set a minimum U.S. tax on overseas corporate income, and to make it harder for companies to shift earnings offshore.

Amazon has been criticized for years for paying virtually no federal taxes in the United States even as it built an e-commerce empire that currently has a market value of $1.6 trillion.

That has changed slightly in recent years as the Seattle company has become more profitable. Last year, it reported paying $1.7 billion in federal taxes on its U.S. income of $20.2 billion, working out to an effective tax rate of about 8%.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

8 thoughts on “Bezos endorses higher corporate taxes for infrastructure

  1. Not much different reasoning than him endorsing raising the minimum wage: his company can afford to and he knows many competitors will struggle to do so.

  2. Infrastructure is an investment (that pays) into both corporations and people. It’s certainly a better government investment than tax cuts.

    1. Wow, government can spend our money better than we can? True socialism there Robert.

    2. As much as I’d like to live in a libertarian utopia, working libertarianism is the same type of idealistic fiction that socialism is.

      I am sure you think that sidewalks, interstates, highways, surface streets, schools, the military, NASA, clean water, and whatever else the government regulates/invests in is socialism too.

      Get a grip. Infrastructure spending pays off more than the vast majority of things the government could spend money on.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets in {{ count_down }} days.