About the Author
Chad Swiatecki is a 20-year journalist who relocated to Austin from his home state of Michigan in 2008. He most enjoys covering the intersection of arts, business and local/state politics. He has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Daily News, Texas Monthly, Austin American-Statesman and many other regional and national outlets.
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At what price Amazon?
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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