As the White House considers raising taxes on corporations for the first time in more than 25 years, the head of one of America’s largest companies is backing such a plan. From a report: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement Tuesday that the company is “supportive of a rise in the corporate tax rate.” Bezos said, “We support the Biden Administration’s focus on making bold investments in American infrastructure. Both Democrats and Republicans have supported infrastructure in the past, and it’s the right time to work together to make this happen. 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.” The White House is laying the groundwork for lifting the corporate tax rate above its current level of 21% to help pay for an ambitious infrastructure package. Bezos’ statement is a notable show of approval for the move given that many others in the business community have warned that it could threaten recovery from the pandemic.
The outgoing Amazon chief executive is, in some ways, a surprising advocate for a corporate tax hike. In 2019, the then-former Vice President Joe Biden called out Amazon for its history of using tax credits and deductions to reduce its corporate income tax bill. The company fired back, saying, “we pay every penny we owe,” and that it had paid $2.6 billion in corporate taxes since 2016. And again last year, then-Presidential candidate Biden said Amazon should “start paying their taxes,” as part of a broader critique of large, successful businesses. Amazon has repeatedly said that it follows all applicable tax laws. The company also recently sparred with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has advocated for raising taxes on big corporations. Last month Warren said in a tweet: “Giant corporations like Amazon report huge profits to their shareholders — but they exploit loopholes and tax havens to pay close to nothing in taxes. That’s just not right.”