Seattle Gets Revenue Boost From Amazon, Construction Boom | KUOW News and Information

Seattle Gets Revenue Boost From Amazon, Construction Boom

Sep 15, 2014

A construction boom and runaway hiring at Amazon are leading to stronger than expected tax revenues for the city of Seattle.

City budget officials say they expect to collect about $7 million more in taxes for 2015 and 2016.

Officials had already forecast 3 to 3.5 percent revenue growth over the same period. The new forecast boosts expected revenue growth by about one percentage point.

Sales taxes on construction materials, such as steel and concrete, were the biggest single source of the increase.

Officials say there are 14,000 housing units now being built in the city, which they say is the largest number in several decades.

One of the chief drivers of that new construction is e-commerce giant Amazon. The company already occupies about a dozen new buildings in South Lake Union, and is now preparing to build two more office towers in nearby Denny Triangle.

While it doesn’t speak publicly about its employment numbers, city officials estimate the company has added around 12,000 employees since the end of the recession. That’s based on numbers compiled by the state.

Seattle’s job growth is outpacing the rest of the state by about two to one.

But officials also cautioned that they expect the region’s economy to slow in the coming years, in part because they think Amazon can’t continue to hire at the current frenzied pace.