Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon
Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, spoke out in favor of a corporate tax hike on Tuesday but didn’t say he supported President Joe Biden’s plan for the hike.
“We support the Biden administration’s focus on bold investments in American infrastructure,” Bezos said in a statement. “We understand that this investment will require concessions on all sides – both in terms of the details of the benefits included and in terms of the way in which they are paid for (we support an increase in the corporate tax rate).”
Last week, Biden unveiled a package worth more than $ 2 trillion that outlined major improvements to the country’s bridges, roads, public transportation and airports, among other things. These included investing in caring for the elderly and disabled, building and retrofitting affordable housing, and promoting American manufacturing and training efforts.
To fund the package, Biden has proposed raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. The corporate income tax rate was lowered from 35% to 21% under President Donald Trump under a 2017 tax law.
Bezos’ support for a tax hike is noteworthy as Amazon previously underwent a review of its tax records, including from Biden. In May last year, then-presidential candidate Biden told CNBC that Amazon should “start paying its taxes.”
Biden once again singled out Amazon during a speech in Pittsburgh last week, condemning the company for “exploiting various loopholes so they don’t pay a single penny in federal income tax.”
In response, top Amazon spokesman Jay Carney said in a tweet, “If the R&D tax credit is a ‘loophole’, it is certainly a highly intentional Congress. The R&D tax credit has been around 1981 and was renewed 15 times with two. Partisan support and was made permanent in 2015 by law signed by President Obama. “
After paying $ 0 federal income tax for two years, Amazon paid $ 162 million in federal income tax in 2019. Benefiting from various tax credits and deductions, the company had total sales of $ 386 billion for the past year.
– CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.