Microsoft says it’s determined to pay more of its fair share in improving quality-of-life in its home state of Washington.
In the process, it also appears to be branding itself as the anti-Amazon.
Earlier this week, the software giant backed a new bill that would actually increase the software company’s tax burden.
As the Seattle Times reports, Washington State HB 2158 seeks to raise a billion dollars to invest in workforce education for state students, including in high-demand subjects such as computer science, engineering, and nursing.
It would do so by increasing taxes on sectors that benefit the most from a highly skilled workforce.
The bill proposes hiking state business and occupation tax by 33% on tech firms that take in more than $25 billion in annual revenue.
Then, in a section that only affects Microsoft, the bill presents a 67% business tax increase for “advanced computing businesses” that make more than $100 billion a year.
Only two companies meet that criteria: Redmond-based Microsoft and its Seattle neighbor Amazon.
The company’s embrace of the bill shouldn’t come as a surprise: Microsoft President Brad Smith doubled down on his company’s commitment to fund education in a Seattle Times op-ed last week.
“Let’s ask the largest companies in the tech sector, which are the largest employers of high-skilled talent, to do a bit more,” he wrote. “This means that the largest tech companies would pay somewhat more than the 1.8 percent rate.”