In the News: Stacy Mitchell
September 25, 2017
Media Outlet: Business Insider
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Amazon report, Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities, formed the basis for an article by Business Insider’s Leanna Garfield on why so many cities across America are clamoring to house Amazon’s second North American headquarters — and why any city who “wins” will be sorely disappointed.
Immediately after Amazon released its RFP (request for proposals), the Institute for Local Self-Reliance released a press release deriding the RFP as “the latest play in Amazon’s long-time strategy of financing its growth through public subsidies.”
Here’s our contribution:
But Amazon’s HQ2 could have a downside. It would bring loads of jobs, but cities would likely pay for some of them in the form of subsidies.
When Amazon has come to other cities across the United States, it has often accepted economic incentives.
From 2005 to 2014, the company received at least $613 million in local government subsidies to build warehouses, according to a 2016 report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. The group, which pushes for local resources to be dedicated to for community development, also found Amazon received an additional $147 million in subsidies for its data centers.
As Motherboard points out, Amazon will likely choose a city that offers subsidies or tax breaks. Amazon’s proposal guidelines say that the company may require “special incentive legislation” in order “for the state/province to achieve a competitive incentive proposal.”