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Amazon declines Tucson’s cactus, but other kinds of gifts are great

Amazon declines Tucson’s cactus, but other kinds of gifts are great
[Photo: SonoranDesertNPS via Wikimedia Commons]

Amazon had to politely refuse a cactus from Arizona today. Sun Corridor, an Arizona-based economic group, offered a 21-foot Saguaro cactus as a way to show its interest in housing Amazon’s second headquarters. The company is now looking to build what’s known as HQ2, which would rival its current Seattle main site and employ as many as 50,000 workers. In a tweet this morning, Amazon said “unfortunately we can’t accept gifts,” and donated it to a museum in Tucson.

But that’s not going to stop the local government fervor in anticipation of Amazon’s new offices. The Dallas Morning News, for instance, made Jeff Bezos a George Strait-only Spotify playlist as a way to show off its Texas pride and entice the company to choose it (no word on whether or not Amazon turned that down).

Beyond the tangible gifts that Amazon is unable to receive, there are less prickly, much more valuable ones on the horizon. Specifically, the tax credits and other grants the company will be presented with to alleviate the company’s cost. The sums of money offered will surely be mind boggling. Already, Amazon received more than $613 million in public subsidies for its own facilities, reports Motherboard.

With that, Amazon is already telling cities that it will need to pony up huge financial incentives to even be considered. In its directive to cities, the company made clear that it would need programs to make the build feasible. Anything that lessens the financial blow, Amazon will take–especially when it comes to taxes. (According to an interesting new Bloomberg analysis of the top corporate taxpayers in the U.S., Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook—among the companies with the largest market capitalization—aren’t even in the top 20.)

Cities have already made it known that they want to do business with Amazon. Numerous politicians for American cities have shown keen interest. These include Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Huntsville, and numerous others. The question is, what will these cities do to make it worth Amazon’s while? While they can’t offer cacti, tens of millions of dollars in tax subsidies will likely do the trick.

Read moreAmazon’s Quest For An HQ2 Underscores Seattle Growing PainsCGW