Home / Others / To win Amazon’s HQ2, this is what the last 20 cities are offering

To win Amazon’s HQ2, this is what the last 20 cities are offering


Amazon headquarters is in Seattle. You are looking for a place to put a second seat.

Ben Fox Rubin / CNET

Amazon has reduced 238 applicants to 20 finalists in North America for its second location.

During the bidding process, which began in early September last year, cities across the continent made a mad dash to entice Amazon to come to the city, some with strange acts of grandeur.

Tucson, Arizona, sent a giant cactus to Amazon, while the mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, said he bought 1,000 items on Amazon.com and left reviews with details about the city on each product. None of those tricks worked, since both cities did not make it to the final list. No, on the other hand, the 20 finalists chosen by Amazon have offered massive tax incentives and development sites, among other offers to sweeten the well.

It's not hard to see why all these cities are so thirsty for Amazon to choose them. The company expects to spend more than $ 5 billion on its new project and add up to 50,000 jobs to its new headquarters as well.

We reviewed all the offers that these 20 cities made to Amazon in its attempt to win the company from Seattle. Five kept the details secret, seven offered important tax breaks and one said it would make Amazon founder Jeff Bezos "mayor for life" in a new city called Amazon.

Atlanta: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the city would offer incentives and development that would be worth more than $ 1 billion. In Stonecrest, a city in Georgia about 20 miles east of Atlanta, the mayor offered to rename it "Amazon" and install Jeff Bezos as the permanent mayor.

Austin, Texas: Austin has not publicly disclosed any kind of fiscal incentive or break for Amazon. In its offer, the city decided to promote its culture, instead. The city's mayor, Steve Adler, said he is offering Amazon the opportunity to be the "social and future fabric" of Austin.

Boston: The city proposed an "Amazon Task Force" in its 109-page offer. In essence, it would involve paid city personnel whose sole purpose is to represent the interests of Amazon for the Boston government.

Chicago : the city offered $ 2 billion in tax breaks, and suggested that it could go even beyond that.

Columbus, Ohio : The Midwest city offered tax breaks at Amazon for 15 years, including a 100 percent property tax reduction, and a 35 percent tax refund to the rent. These offers would save Amazon millions in taxes for more than a decade.

Dallas : Like Austin, Dallas does not offer any major tax exemptions either. Instead, he is pressing on the merits of his city.

Denver : the city offers "performance-based incentives," which is not exactly a special break for Amazon. It is based on the incentive of the State Strategic Fund and the Tax Credit of Employment Growth Incentive, which is offered to any business that arrives in Colorado. These incentives can save Amazon more than $ 100 million in taxes.

Indianapolis : keeps your offer details secret.

Los Angeles : The city of Southern California has kept its offers secret, but has indicated that it will provide "costs and incentives" to Amazon. There are no specific details on how much that would imply.

Miami : keeps your offer details secret.

Montgomery County, Maryland : Bethesda Beat of Bethesda magazine received the offer through an application for public records with the government. The state eliminated all information on financial and fiscal incentives. But at least we know that there are offers of incentives.

Nashville, Tennessee : Music City officials really frowned at all the tax incentives offered, calling them "absurd" in an interview. Instead, they are launching Amazon based on the development of the city and the constant growth of the population.

Newark, New Jersey : This is the largest. Newark is offering Amazon $ 7 billion in tax incentives, the largest among the 238 cities that submitted an offer.

New York : Apart from the orange light show performed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, the city also offers a lot of space, both for the development and housing of the potential employees who move there.

Northern Virginia : keeps your offer details secret.

Philadelphia : The Philadelphia Inquirer received a well-written document after it made a request for public records to the city. But the court offered 280,000 square feet of office space in the 30th Street station building, along with up to 4.2 million square feet of citywide development space.

Pittsburgh : keeps its offer details a secret, but noted that its tax incentives make a "very competitive package."

Raleigh, North Carolina : keeps its offer details secret, and has denied 11 of the 15 requests for public records of WRAL.

Toronto : Toronto is the only Canadian city listed as a finalist, and a good part of its tone is based on that appeal. There are no tax subsidies on their pitch, but city officials point to their lower corporate tax rates compared to the United States, as well as to their universal health care.

Washington : The offer noted "significant tax exemptions", although the details were drafted in the public records provided to WAMU. The registries also launched the creation of a "University of the Amazon", which would train and create a direct flow of people to work on Amazon.

Published for the first time at 12:45 p.m. PT.
Update, 1:43 p.m. PT: To include details about the Philadelphia offer for Amazon's HQ2.

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