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At what price Amazon?

Monday, November 26, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

We still don’t know what incentives and other goodies Austin leaders had wrapped up for Amazon executives in the city’s bid to land part or all of the company’s gigantic HQ2 project, but news coming out of other cities tells us it would’ve taken a whole lot of zeroes to get Amazon’s attention. BizWomen reports Pennsylvania leaders proposed $4.6 billion in incentives in hopes of Pittsburgh or Philadelphia getting the nod, while Columbus had a package worth $2.8 billion spread out over 30 years. Newark’s bid came with $7 billion in tax credits at the local and state level, and Maryland was ready to grant Amazon up to $5 billion to support Baltimore’s candidacy. None of those cities were successful (the project will be split between Queens, N.Y., and Arlington, Va.), and now word comes from The Wall Street Journal that only half of the 50,000 jobs between the two new centers will be high-paying tech positions. The rest will be administrative and custodial in nature, which is a far cry from the early expectation that all HQ2 jobs would pay six figures and above.

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