Companies in Amazon’s finalist cities are pissed about tax break favoritism

Companies call out elected officials for tax favoritism in cities battling it out for Amazon’s HQ2.

March 16, 2018

For the past several months, Amazon has been running a Bachelor-worthy contest to determine where they’ll build HQ2, their new 50k-employee headquarters, and cities have been fighting desperately, offering the company multibillion-dollar tax breaks to win Jeff Bezos’ final rose.

But the bidding war has created an unforeseen headache for officials in the contending cities: The companies currently based there want the same red carpet treatment.

Where’s Chris Harrison when you need him?

Since announcing their new headquarters in September, Amazon has whittled down a list of over 238 proposals to just 20 finalists, including Newark, NJ, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

But these last cities standing have gone to some pretty insane lengths to sway the decision in their favor.

The $7B and $5B tax breaks promised by Newark and Maryland, for example, are in the top 4 largest tax incentives ever offered to a corporation (Washington leads with an $8.7B tax break for Boeing).

“Can I steal you for a minute?” — other companies to elected officials

In DC, a group of tech companies sent a list of requests to the city’s mayor, including the same bonuses and tax incentives offered to Amazon.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon also plans to make the same demand in whichever city is chosen, arguing that, in many of the finalist cities, JPM “already has tens of thousands of employees.”

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