Memphis Bids for Amazon's HQ2, Will Offer $50M Incentive

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The Memphis City Council paved the way for the city to pursue Amazon’s second headquarters (HQ2) Tuesday by approving an incentive package for the company.


The council voted to offer a cash incentive of up to $50 million to the company if they build their second headquarters in Memphis. For each job created, the city will give Amazon $5,000 over a 15-year period.


Additionally, the council authorized the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County (EDGE) to offer Amazon a tax break to build its new headquarters. EDGE is authorized to provide a 20-year pay-in-lieu-of-taxes or tax-increment financing incentive, but now can seek state approval to extend Amazon’s incentive for an additional 10 years.


The city will also commit to investing $10 million in public transportation, the airport, and workforce readiness efforts.


Planned to span over 8 million square feet and valued at $5 billion, the secondary headquarters could bring as many as 50,000 well-paid full-time jobs to the city.


Amazon is accepting applications from interested cities through Oct. 19 and plans to begin constructing phase one of HQ2 in 2019.


Memphis is one of over 50 cities in the U.S. and Canada vying to be the home of Amazon’s secondary headquarters, according to Forbes. Many of these entities are offering Amazon tax breaks, abatements, and other incentives:  


-New Jersey plans to give Amazon a $5 billion tax break.

-Danbury, Connecticut will offer real estate and personal property tax deferrals.

-The University of Texas at Dallas is offering Amazon 100 acres of land for its headquarters.


Other cities are getting creative with their wooing:


-Birmingham has placed three large Amazon delivery boxes around the city.

-Georgia offered to form a new city called Amazon.

-Officials in Tucson, Arizona gifted the company with a 21-foot cactus.




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