Amazon promises HQ2 will be a “full equal” to its Seattle headquarters. If you’re considering wooing Amazon to your city, here are essential facts you should know about the impacts on Seattle from Amazon’s growth.
Seattle has the fourth worst traffic in the United States. A benchmark commute from Everett to Seattle has grown from 35 minutes to up to 2 hours. Seattle drivers spend 58 hours annually looking for parking.
51 percent of Seattle residents earn less than $50,000. One quarter earn less than $25,000.
The average property-tax bill across King County has jumped 35 percent in the last four years, due to climbing property values and new tax hikes.
Unsheltered homelessness has doubled in Seattle since 2010. 70 percent were Seattle or King County residents when they became homeless. Shelter beds and transitional housing totals actually declined slightly from 6,178 in 2010 to 6,158 in 2017.
Amazon refuses to report its diversity and gender statistics for Seattle. Seattle remains the fifth whitest large city in America and King County is the whitest large county nationally. Washington state has 76,755 more men than women in the 18 to 54 year old age range. Men outnumber women in Seattle and dating has become more challenging. Women report frustration dating Amazon men and discomfort.
Seattle’s sales tax is 10.1%. Washington State has the most regressive tax system in America. In 2015, those earning $21,000 annually paid 16.8% of their income in taxes compared with 2.4% for wealthiest.
In 2017, Seattle’s City Council passed a 2.25 percent income tax on total income above $250,000 for individuals and above $500,000 for married couples. Legal challenges are expected.
Amazon filed 6395 applications for H1B visa and 3076 green card employees from FY 2014 to 2016. It’s ranked 17th among all visa sponsors.
$4 billion was cut from state K-12 and higher education budgets in 2009-11. To increase revenue, international students at the University of Washington has increased to 15.1% in 2017 from 2.8% in 2010. International students studying across Washington State rose 74 percent between 2010 and 2015.