People are moving in front of the rostrum before a news conference about the advertisement that Crystal City was chosen as home to Amazon's new headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, US November 13, 2018. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
March 16, 2019
By Nandita Bose
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Amazon.com Inc. set up a second headquarters in northern Virginia being abused in New York, will face its first test when local officials vote Saturday on a proposed financial package worth approximately $ 51
In November, Amazon took November in National Landing, a site owned by Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, just outside of Washington, with New York for the so-called HQ2 or second headquarters.
Next year is a one-year search of hundreds of municipalities, from Newark, New Jersey, to Indianapolis, competing for the declared tax dollars and high wage promises of the project.
Amazon in February has suddenly cut off plans to form part of its second headquarters in New York after the opposition from local leaders, disturbed by the incentives promised by state and city politicians.
While opposition to Arlington still opposed, the vote became a political flashpoint between project supporters and activists' opponents. It has given local activists the opportunity to push a delay so that the county's measure can be tested and obedient.
A five-member panel of the Arlington County Board voted on whether Amazon would receive an estimated $ 51 million, a portion of the $ 481 million promised by the county. Only 5 percent of incentives.
Amazon also offered a $ 750 million state package that the Virginia General Assembly was approved with little opposition.
Saturday's voting scene is likely to be different. At least 100 members from local activist groups are expected to attend.
Protests are expected to begin at least an hour before the vote vote for the 1 pm EST hearing, Reuters learned from labor groups.
$ 51 million includes a controversial direct financial incentive or cash of $ 23 million on the Amazon for 15 years, collected from tax on rooms at the Arlington hotel. The grant is based on the Amazon covering six million square feet of space office in the first 16 years.
Arlington also offers to invest about $ 28 million over 10 years of property tax revenue onsite onsite infrastructure and open space on the site of the headquarters.
A filing on the county board website says $ 23 million in grant and $ 28 million in strategic public infrastructure investments "helped Amazon to choose Arlington for its headquarters. "
County spokesman declined. County chairman Christian Dorsey told the public that he was "indifferent" to the postponement, had heard suggestions to do so from other board members, and hoped the bill would be passed.
25,000 new jobs by Amazon help recover more than 34,000 jobs Arlington has disappeared since 2003 due to federal agency shutdowns and other factors, and helps diversify local economy, said company spokesman Jill Kerr. "Our $ 2.5 billion investment will generate more than $ 3.2 billion in tax revenue that can be used for public services."
Activists from For Us, No Amazon, a coalition of nine workers' groups and indigenous peoples who work in areas like minority advocacy, are not convinced. Roshan Abraham, an organizer from Our Revolution Arlington, a member of the coalition, said that his group wants the Amazon to engage in the community, delivering public hearings on company investments, meeting costs housing, removing low-income families near the proposed site and donating to affordable housing funds.
"What we are concerned about is that Amazon is meeting behind nearby doors, at invitation events, but not in the community in a public, accessible way," he said.
Amazon said it addresses many community leaders and residents, including local businesses, non-business, and community and civic associations and continues to interact with them as it extends its presence to Arlington .
(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Richard Chang)