Say no to tax breaks, subsidies, and incentives for Amazon's HQ2
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Tell the Arlington County Board to reject any bid or proposal that would give any taxpayer-funded subsidies or tax incentives, such as tax breaks, credits, or abatements, to Amazon's HQ2, whether they are being provided by the county or the state.
Arlington County, Virginia is currently part of the Northern Virginia bid for Amazon's HQ2. (UPDATE 11/10, Arlington will likely become one of two sites for HQ2).
While we cannot stop Amazon from coming to Arlington should they chose to, we do not have to provide them incentives funded by taxpayers to relocate.
The reasons for opposing the bid are plentiful:
- Amazon paid ZERO dollars in federal taxes in 2017, will receive a $789 MILLION tax break due to the new tax law, and since 2000 has received over $1 BILLION dollars in corporate welfare as tax subsidies. They do not need nor should they receive taxpayer subsidies, especially at the expense of schools and public services.
- Amazon is ruthless in avoiding taxes. When Seattle proposed a new tax on big businesses to alleviate the homelessness crisis caused by businesses like Amazon, Amazon held the city hostage by immediately halting construction of a new building – putting 7,000 new jobs on the line. Even after a watered-down version of the bill passed, Amazon continued to make veiled threats to the city. After Amazon, along with Starbucks and other corporations, waged a massive misinformation campaign that resulted in the city council repealing the tax. Before voting to repeal, Councilwoman Lisa Herbold stated that the groups opposing the tax (i.e. Amazon, Starbucks, etc) has "unlimited resources" to fight actions like this.
- Amazon's HQ1’s explosive growth has had severe consequences for Seattle, causing home and rent costs to skyrocket (an 85% increase in home prices in the last six years and a 39.8% increase in rent in five years) and leading to mass displacement of low to middle-income residents, closure of small businesses, and the mushrooming of tent cities.
- There is no guarantee that Amazon's promises of 50,000 high-wage office jobs and $5 billion in investment will materialize. Just look at the example of Boeing in Seattle or GE in Boston. (UPDATE 11/10: With the new plan, Amazon is promising 25,000 jobs. In selecting DC and NYC as the two most likely homes of HQ2 and HQ3, there are serious questions about whether the entire bidding process was a sham; the bids from the 238 other cities have essentially become free, tax-payer funded research that Amazon can put to use in further expanding their operations. In such a light, we should not continue to reward and abet Amazon as they hoodwink local officials to expand tax-payer resources for their corporate empire.)
- A Kauffman Foundation study showed that businesses that receive incentives do not tend to generate more jobs than those that don’t.
- Amazon is a multibillion-dollar corporation with a near monopoly position in the retail market. Moreover, its CEO Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world with a net worth of $140 billion (per Forbes real-time rankings at 5pm June 12th); with all this money the only thing he can think to spend it on is space travel.
While Arlington/NoVA/Virginia has not released the tax incentives, the offers from other cities make it clear that they will be receiving billions in tax incentives. Maryland is promising up to $8.5 billion in tax incentives from the state; Newark and New Jersey up to $7 billion; Atlanta and Chicago between $1 and $2 billion.
Sign the petition to demand that the Arlington County Board reject any bid or proposal that would give any taxpayer-funded subsidies or tax incentives, such as tax breaks, credits, or abatements, to Amazon's HQ2, whether they are being provided by the county or the state.
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