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Amazon Picks New York And Northern Virginia For HQ2

18 November, 2018, 21:54 | Author: Kristi Dunn

In a press release, the organization suggested that some of the subsidies going to Amazon have not been disclosed by the company.

Bezos took NY to the cleaners, convincing the state to lavish an obscene package of incentives on the Seattle-based company in exchange for building what was once described as its second headquarters in Queens.

Those offers were predicated on a single headquarters with 50,000 jobs rather than the existing split deal with 25,000 in each location, but still would have blown the NY and Virginia offers out of the water - a signal that Amazon was not willing to compromise on access to technical talent.

Amazon's requested perks include not just money, but a helipad at its planned new locations in Long Island City and National Landing - a tall order, given that Crystal City now falls within a flight restricted zone where the only allowed flights are those that go through the airport or have to do with law enforcement and the military. Amazon is opening a similar site in Arlington, Virginia. "The Nashville facility will probably decide how Amazon's infrastructure will be growing and changing, driving where new facilities are being built and figuring out new shipping lines".

In a series of tweets, Ocasio-Cortez criticized the tax breaks NY has offered Amazon and questioned whether the company plans to pay high wages, provide benefits, and hire from the existing community.

In Long Island City, Amazon plans to fill the budgeted 25,000 positions over the next 10 years.

The impact will reach far beyond NY and Virginia.

"There is a much better way of allocating our taxpayer's money that will directly help the communities", saidNew York State Assemblyman Ron Kim, who represents parts of Queens.

Virginia's contract with Amazon agrees to pay the online retailer up to $750 million if it creates 37,850 jobs by 2039.

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The funds, which have to be appropriated by the Virginia General Assembly, are created to decrease slightly in value if more than 10% of the new hires are focused on federal government contracts. The state plans to spend $375 million to boost the number of tech-related master's degrees at George Mason University and Virginia Tech, which is planning to open a $1 billion graduate campus near the new Amazon headquarters.

There was no commitment in the memoranda to preserving housing affordability, hiring locally, or working with local educational institutions.

At heart, the Amazon deal is another example of the rich - Jeff Bezos, New York City - getting richer and the rest of us not getting much of anything at all.

Hiring at both locations will begin next year, and the average salary for new employees in the areas will be more than 150,000 USA dollars, according to the company.

"I also don't understand why a company as rich as Amazon would need almost $2 billion in public money for its expansion plans at a time when NY desperately needs money for affordable housing, transportation, infrastructure, and education", Johnson said.

There's another cash grant of $325 million based on the company occupying a certain amount of office space.

"I don't know what can happen but that's why we are here today, to properly put pressure on him (Governor Andrew Cuomo) to change it", Dixon said. Critics also lament Seattle's metamorphosis from a modest blue-collar region fueled by timber, fishing and factory jobs, to the city's status as a star tech hub that was cemented by Amazon and then drew Facebook and Google to set up key outposts here.

Amazon has said that New York's tax credits equate to $48,000 per job, but the company might be understating the case: According to the economic development watchdog group Good Jobs First, the actual cost might be closer to $112,000 per job. The agreement also includes requirements for participation by minority and women-owned businesses in the construction process.

Seattle's new concentration of highly-educated, well-paid techies infused in a post-Great Recession era has contributed to a vicious housing market. Likewise, the incentive package that comes with it is unlike any the state has ever offered.



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