Amazon gets generous offer from major US city vying for HQ2

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Cities and states everywhere are scrambling to entice Amazon to build its second headquarters at their desired sites, and are offering generous incentives for them to do so. According to the Detroit Free Press, Michigan is no exception.

The Free Press reports that state and local Michigan officials have been joined by Canada in offering Amazon enormous tax breaks meant to lure the retail giant to Detroit, citing confidential documents.

From the Free Press:

Confidential details of the tax breaks, as well as Detroit’s official 242-page bid book, were obtained Wednesday by the Free Press.

The documents describe how government officials are willing to forgo decades of future tax receipts in exchange for the economic benefits that they expect to arrive from landing Amazon’s headquarters.

For instance, Amazon would get to pocket all of the new state income taxes that many of its Detroit employees generate for 10 years, and capture half of those taxes for the next 10 years.

But the total cost of all the public subsidies for Amazon — state and local — was blacked out in the documents released to media organizations.

If the documents are accurate, Detroit and Michigan officials appear confident that the loss in tax revenue will be offset by the boost to the local economies if Amazon builds its new headquarters, referred to as HQ2, to the Detroit and Windsor, Canada area.

According to Amazon’s estimates, HQ2 will add $5 billion in new investments wherever it builds its facility, the Free Press reports.

Other cities and states have offered similar incentives, including Chicago, which also offered Amazon the tax revenue it would collect on the firm’s employees, foregoing $1.3 billion in taxes.

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