In response to Amazon’s announcement that it is seeking a location for a second North American headquarters, Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance issued the following statement:
“Amazon’s announcement that it’s opening a search for a second North American headquarters is only the latest play in Amazon’s long-time strategy of financing its growth through public subsidies.
“Over the last decade, as Amazon has mastered this strategy, it’s come to employ site location experts and lobbyists in its efforts to pit local and state governments against each other for the largest subsidy package. It’s a strategy that’s paid off for the company: Our Nov. 2016 report found that between 2005 and 2014, half of all of Amazon’s new fulfillment centers received public incentives, totaling $613 million. Amazon received another $147 million in subsidies connected to its data centers during these years. Additional incentives provided by governments since 2014 have driven the total value of public handouts that Amazon has received to well over $1 billion, according to data compiled by Good Jobs First.
“These deals are in addition to generous tax loopholes that Amazon has long exploited to gain a financial advantage over its brick-and-mortar competitors, especially independent retailers.
“For taxpayers, workers, and local governments, Amazon’s strategy has been costly. Our analysis finds that as Amazon grows, it’s in fact destroying far more jobs than it’s creating. It’s also beginning to threaten the revenue streams on which local governments rely, as shuttered stores depress commercial property tax values. In response to Amazon’s HQ2 RFP, public officials would do well to invest in smart economic development for their communities instead of engaging in Amazon’s arms race.”
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a 42-year-old national nonprofit research and educational organization. ILSR’s mission is to provide innovative strategies, working models and timely information to support strong, community rooted, environmentally sound and equitable local economies. www.ilsr.org – Email firstname.lastname@example.org for press inquiries.