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Cities Discover Winning Amazon Could Come With An Unexpected Cost

While cities across North America vie for Amazon’s second headquarters, resident companies in bidding markets are demanding similar incentive packages of their own.


Amazon promised to bring 50,000 jobs and a $5B economic investment to the city of its choosing, leading the majority of the top 20 contenders to offer large tax incentives, among other monetary inducements. Companies emboldened by the HQ2 race are noting these incentives and demanding similar benefits, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Last week, the mayor of Washington, D.C., received a list of requests from a group of tech companies. The requests included demands to provide training bonuses and property tax breaks to the companies — both of which were offered to Amazon. JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO James Dimon has also been open about his intentions to demand deals similar to those given to Amazon if the city it chooses happens to fall in a region where the company currently resides.

Not all HQ2 incentive offers have been exclusive to Amazon. Newark and New Jersey proposed a $7B incentive package between the two, but city officials have said the tax breaks will be used to attract other projects that could create a large number of jobs as well. Similarly, Washington, D.C., officials said they will give similar incentives to companies that can prove they will provide a strong financial return, according to the WSJ.