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Amazon's Second Headquarters Clear Blocks in Virginia Finance Vote



  A press conference for Amazon's new headquarters in Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia
People move in front of a platform before a press conference announcing that Crystal City is being voted the home of the new Amazon headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. March 13, 2018 By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Local authorities have approved a proposed $ 51 million financial package amid a small but voiced opposition.

In November, Amazon chose National Landing, an object jointly owned by Arlington County and the city of Alexandria, just outside Washington, along with New York for its so-called headquarters or second headquarters. This followed an all-year demand, in which hundreds of municipalities, ranging from Newark, New Jersey to Indianapolis, competed for the desired taxes and high-paying jobs the project promised.

In February, Amazon suddenly canceled plans to build part of its second headquarters in New York's Queens neighborhood after opposition from local leaders was angry with the incentives promised by state and city politicians.

Arlington County Five-member Council voted 5 -0 in favor of Amazon, who received the financial package after a seven-hour meeting held in a room of about 1

50 citizens and representatives of local alliances and minority protection groups.

There was a strong opposition from some residents and working groups, many of whom chanted "shame" and waved signs with slogans, including "Do not Be Robinous," "Amazon Excessive and Insufficient," and "Advocate for Us" was escorted by the police assembly.

Several dozen protesters in front of the county office chanted: "The united people will never be defeated."

Danny Kandeas, the organizer of the "For Us, Not Amazon" Coalition, opposed to moving the company to the area, said, "We are struggling to make sure that people who live here are not valued of rich people. "

Some supporters of the meeting held signs saying "to vote" and "Amazon is first class for Arlington." One hundred and twelve people were registered to speak, an abnormally large number of local municipal assemblies, forcing Council President Christian Dorsey to interrupt the talks in two minutes, three for each regular spokesperson, and up to four minutes, five for representatives of organizations .

Many speakers who opposed the Amazon headquarters opposed particularly direct incentives, referring to rising housing costs, the likely relocation of low-income families, the accelerated theft of wages for construction workers, and the lack of investment

"Speculators are already rising house prices, landlords are increasing rents, and main contractors are raising their quotes for home improvement projects," says one resident, Hunter Tamaro. CIO objected to Amazon not signing a contract of employment with wage and indemnity guarantees for workers hired to build new buildings.

Participants, like local resident John O'Connell, said Amazon's presence would ensure that Arlington would be allocated state funds for investment in transport and higher education. "I want that money from the state," said O'Connell. "Without Amazon, we will not get a penny out of it."

Holly Sullivan, World Head of Amazon for Economic Development, said briefly, and said the company would invest approximately $ 2.5 billion, create more than 25,000 jobs with an average salary of over $ 150,000 that will generate more than $ 3.2 billion in tax revenue.

"As far as incentives are concerned, Amazon is eligible for a financial incentive after investing and borrowing office space in the community," she said.

Dorsey, the chairman of the board, said before the vote he expects a measure. He said the rejection of Amazon would not solve the problems and concerns of the community and that this is the first deal the country has reached when new revenue is used for financing.

Undoubtedly, the vote approved about 51 million dollars. , a small fraction of the $ 481 million promised by the county. Only 5% of the incentives are direct. In addition, Amazon has proposed a $ 750 million package from the state, approved by the Virginia-based General Assembly with a small opposition

. taxed for hotel rooms in Arlington. Grants depend on the fact that Amazon occupies six million square meters of office space in the first 16 years. ,

One submission to the City Council's website states that the $ 23 million grant and $ 28 million in strategic public infrastructure investments were "a tool for the Amazon's election in Arlington for its headquarters"

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