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Joe Biden slams Amazon for not paying federal taxes: You 'should pay a few taxes'

Jennifer Earl

Former Vice President Joe Biden targeted corporate greed during a campaign stop in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, on Tuesday ⁠by taking aim at one of the world's most valuable brands: Amazon.

The 2020 presidential hopeful threw shade at the e-commerce giant for "not paying a single solitary cent" in federal income tax for the second year in a row.

"I've got nothing against Amazon. But they should pay a few taxes, you know what I mean?" asked Biden as people in the crowd applauded. "What happens? It's all you guys. No, I'm serious."

Jeff Bezos' multibillion-dollar tech empire has now surpassed Apple and Google as one of the top growing brands — with a 52-percent year-on-year increase, according to BrandZ's Top Most Valuable Global Brands report released Tuesday.

The world’s largest online retailer, which is worth around $795 billion, earned a record $11.2 billion in U.S. profits last year, the company’s U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing showed in early February.

By leveraging unspecified tax credits and stock-based compensation deductions, the company didn't pay the 21 percent U.S. corporate tax. Instead, as first reported by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Amazon received a federal income tax rebate of $129 million, essentially amounting to a tax rate of negative 1 percent.

"I talk about the dignity of work. How can one have dignity when, in fact, they cannot provide for the basic necessities for their families?" Biden asked during his campaign stop.

This isn't the first time Biden has taken aim at a tech giant. Last month, he hinted that he'd be open to breaking up large technology companies like Facebook.

The 76-year-old politician also isn't alone when it comes to criticizing Amazon.

In February, Amazon dropped its $2.5 billion plans to set up a new headquarters in New York City following a fierce debate and pressure from local politicians — such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Deputy Leader of the New York City Council James G. Van Bramer, among others — unhappy about tax promises made to the tech giant. The company said it was "disappointed" to announce it wasn't going to construct an Amazon campus in Long Island City, Queens, which was expected to create 25,000 jobs.

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"For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term," the company said in an online statement at the time. "While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City."

Fox Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.

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