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Amazon's second headquarters faces new funding streams in Virginia



WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc. plans to set up its second headquarters in northern Virginia after being rejected in New York, faced with the first test, when local officials vote on a proposed package of $ $ $ 51 million

People are moving ahead of the rostrum before a press conference that Crystal City was selected home for the new Amazon headquarters in Arlington, VA, USA on November 13, 2018. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque

Amazon In November, National Landing, a site jointly owned by the District of Arlington and Alexandria, near Washington, with New York for its so-called headquarters HQ2 or the second headquarters, was chosen.

This happened after a one-year search that hundreds of municipalities, ranging from Newark, New Jersey to Indianapolis, competed for the desired tax dollars and high-paying work that the project promises.

Amazon suddenly abandoned the plans to build a part of its second headquarters in New York after opposition from local leaders who were upset by the incentives promised by state and city politicians in February.

Although the opposition in Arlington is still emerging, voting has become a political blow between the supporters of the project and the opponents of the activists. This gave local activists the opportunity to delay, so that the district proposal was reviewed and discussed further.

The Chamber of Deputies of Arlington County Council will vote on whether Amazon will receive $ 51 million, a share of $ 481 million promised by the district. Only 5% of the incentives are straightforward.

Amazon also offered a package of $ 750 million, approved by the Virginia General Assembly with a slight counteraction.

The scene during the vote on Saturday is likely to be different. It is expected that at least 100 members of local activist groups will take part in them. It is expected that protests will start at least an hour before the vote takes place at 1:00 am, reports Reuters.

$ 51 million includes a controversial direct financial incentive or cash aid of $ 23 million on Amazon for 15 years to be levied on hotel room taxes in Arlington. The grant depends on the fact that Amazon occupies six million square meters of office space for the first 16 years.

Arlington also offered to invest about $ 28 million over 10 years of future revenue from property tax into infrastructure and open space at the head office.

An application for a grant of $ 23 million and $ 28 million in strategic investment in public infrastructure was proposed on the County Committee website, which "contributed to the selection of Amazon at Arlington headquarters."

The representative of the district declined to comment.

Arlington County chairman Christian Dorsley said he was "not interested" in postponing the vote, did not hear any suggestions to do so from other members of the board, and expected this event to be adopted.

25,000 new Amazon jobs will help offset more than 34,000 job losses that Arlington has lost since 2003 due to the closure of federal agencies and other factors, as well as help diversify the local economy, Jil Kerr's spokeswoman said. "Our $ 2.5 billion investments will provide tax revenues worth over $ 3.2 billion that can be used to provide public services." advocacy, are not convinced.

Roshan Abraham, the organizer of our revolution, Arlington, a member of the coalition, said that his group wants Amazon to cooperate more with the community, conduct public hearings on the company's investments, address the issue of rising housing costs, moving low-income families around proposed site and donated funds to affordable housing.

"We are very worried about the fact that Amazon met behind a closed door, on invitation events, but did not meet with the community publicly," he said.

Amazon said it met with many community leaders and residents, including local businesses, non-profit organizations, public and civic associations, and will continue to collaborate with them, expanding their presence in Arlington.

Report by Nandity Bose in Washington; Editing Richard Chang

Our Standards: Trust Principles Thomson Reuters.

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