This week in Amazon-o-mania: Should Amazon HQ2 go to a city that really needs it?
To be fair to economic development efforts, the business of selling a place is more than offers of tax incentives. Still, that expensive piece of it has surfaced as a tension point in the Amazon HQ2 quest week after week. Amazon’s search for a second headquarters with its promise to spend $5 billion and add 50,000 high-paying jobs will be decided this year. A professor who studies incentives just published a column in Business Insider warning Amazon that making its decision based on tax breaks is a bad idea. Beware of gifts: Secret tax incentives leave open the possibility that future mayors and city councils will reverse agreements or impose indirect taxes on a new headquarters, said Amihai Glazer, an economics professor at the University of California, where he directs the Program in Corporate Welfare. Incentives may keep Amazon from picking “the city where it would best thrive,” he said. Local leaders are desperate for wins and may be making some “serious mistakes in running the city” generally. Give where needed: Here’s a different spin from New Jersey, which has offered $7 billion in incentives if Amazon HQ2 settles in Newark. Picking Newark would dramatically improve Amazon’s social responsibility quotient, the North Jersey Record reported. […]
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Source: Dallas News