In the News: Stacy Mitchell
September 7, 2017
Media Outlet: The New York Times
ILSR co-director and Community Scaled Economies initiative director Stacy Mitchell was interviewed for a New York Times piece on Amazon’s search for subsidies in securing a second North American headquarters. The piece by Nick Wingfield and Patricia Cohen details the bidding war between local governments.
Stacy’s analysis is featured here:
Amazon has no plans to leave Seattle, where it employs 40,000 of its 380,000 total workers. It has an additional 6,000 open jobs in Seattle, a sprawling network of buildings downtown, with millions more square feet of office space under construction. Ty Rogers, an Amazon spokesman, declined to comment about the plan for the company’s new headquarters.
Political leaders elsewhere wasted no time saying how badly they want Amazon to join them.
“We will aggressively demonstrate that Dallas and our surrounding area would be the perfect spot for their expansive business needs,” Mike Rawlings, the city’s mayor, said in a statement. Dallas representatives were already in touch with Amazon about next steps, he said.
Amazon has been a beneficiary of generous public subsidies as part of its expansion of its warehouse network. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonpartisan research and advocacy group, published a report last year saying that Amazon had received forms of public subsidies totaling at least $613 million for 40 of the 77 warehouses it built from 2005 to 2014. Additional subsidies for Amazon data centers were about $147 million, the institute said.
Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the institute, was struck that Amazon’s formal request for proposals said that “special incentive legislation” might be required. “Cities and states have a wide array of tools for giving corporations tax incentives and subsidies,” Ms. Mitchell said. “So the notion that Amazon is imagining a deal of such magnitude that it would require special legislation is pretty brazen.”