Maryland House Passes $5BN Incentive Package Meant To Lure Amazon's HQ2

In one of the most aggressive attempts to cajole Amazon into selecting their state as the location for the e-commerce giant's second headquarters, the Maryland General Assembly just passed a bill offering the company a $5 billion incentive package should Amazon choose to settle in Maryland's Montgomery County.

Montgomery County is competing with Washington DC, Northern Virginia and 17 other areas that made Amazon's HQ2 "short list", which was released earlier this year. Specifically, Amazon is eyeing the site of the former White Flint Mall.

Bezos

The "Promoting ext-Raordinary Innovation in Maryland’s Economy," or PRIME (yes that misplaced capitalization was intentional) would require Amazon to create at least 40,000 qualified jobs (with an average comp of at least $100,000). The company would also need to spend $4.5 billion on "eligible costs" like capital projects, the Baltimore Business Journal reported. 

After passing the House, the bill now passes to the desk of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

As lawmakers see it, if Amazon chooses Montgomery County, the incentives will be worth the 50,000 jobs the company could bring to the county. If Amazon doesn't, the state loses nothing.

Montgomery County, specifically a site encompassing the former White Flint Mall, is the only Maryland site on Amazon’s HQ2 short list. Maryland is competing with Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and 17 other areas across the country for the 50,000 jobs and $5 billion investment the online retail and web services giant has promised with its second headquarters. Seattle-based Amazon is expected to fill at least 8 million square feet as it phases in HQ2 over the next two decades.

However, while the bill found broad support among Democratic state legislators, Republicans vehemently opposed it on the grounds that it amounted to a corporate giveaway. A legislative study found the bill would cost the state $5.5 billion in total revenue through 2054 - while the county would lose nearly $1 billion. However, that analysis doesn't factor in any revenue generated by Amazon.

Opposition to the bill, largely from Republicans, was intense. They described the incentive — to include roughly $3 billion in property, income and sales tax credits and $2 billion in transportation improvements — as a “bribery package,” an “expensive pig in a poke,” as “craziness,” as “corporate welfare,” and as a “gold mine” for one of the wealthiest companies, led by one of the wealthiest people, in the world.

"They need economic stimulus like a fish needs a bicycle," said Del. Herb McMillan, R-Anne Arundel.

However, a private study produced by the Sage Policy Group at the state's request found that Amazon's headquarters could pump $7.7 billion in wages into the state while producing $17 billion in increased economic activity.

Amazon is expected to announce its HQ2 later this year, but there have been hints that the headquarters could wind up either in Montgomery or somewhere else in the broader Washington, DC area.

A surge in web traffic to an article about an environmental award won by Arlington County from an internal Amazon intranet led to speculation that Maryland could be the company's pick - or at least it would be a strong contender.

And another study found that the Washington DC area would be the most sensible pick for Amazon.

Comments

GooseShtepping Moron Sun, 04/08/2018 - 23:51 Permalink

In the past, it was necessary for politicians and their robber baron friends to provide their pork barreling, log rolling, and horse trading with at least the pretense of an idea or larger social purpose, but this is just pure, naked rentseeking that doesn't even bother to justify itself with the customary platitudes. Like Roman generals sacking their own provinces to fund their political schemes in the Imperial City, the powers that be no longer hide their contempt for the little guy.

Dilluminati FluffyDog6 Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:59 Permalink

Exactly my thoughts, more people moving out of MD the trucking and shipping will make the quality of life worse and economically this is spending a dollar to make a nickel.  None of the states should have offered anything and actually required all employers to pay taxes.  I think this has more to do with sucking up to Bezos and the WP and the politicians all willing to sell out the voters and fiscal sanity.

In reply to by FluffyDog6

Last of the Mi… Mon, 04/09/2018 - 06:53 Permalink

Maryland deserves the next amazon warehouse. Give away all the utilities for 50 years, erase all property taxes for the same time then call it a win/win as they bring in nothing but an insane number of minimum wage jobs resulting in workers who cannot survive without government entitlements then proclaim

"We brought in 10,000 new jobs!

DarthVaderMentor Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:14 Permalink

They are getting desperate in Maryland, especially Baltimore......40K jobs will barely balance the ledger and make up for those who have left and are leaving the socialist workers' state this year.

Whoever takes Amazon is taking on a huge tax revenue problem. I've heard two states were terrified to be among the finalists!

Abaco Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:21 Permalink

This should be unlawful - and probably is even in Maryland. Declaring that the law (taxes) don't apply to a crony is the height of corruption.  The move to internet shopping and home delivery was probably inevitable. The absolute dominance of one company was not.  It is a function of the federal reserve which prints unlimited money and gives it to the favored few. No way in hell Amazon would exist in it's present form without the unlimited financing it has received.

L Cornelius Sulla Mon, 04/09/2018 - 10:50 Permalink

The road system surrounding the White Flint Mall is completely unsuitable for tens of thousands of additional vehicle.  Unless they impound substantial parcels under eminent domain, they won't even have barely workable connection to the I-270 spur.  Even then, the streets will be a parking lot for hours every day.  Eminent domain takes time.  They may also have to partially destroy a Montgomery County Park to make the connection to the Interstate.  Environmentalists will be up in arms.  While the D.C. area makes sense for a variety of reasons, my bet is on Northern Virginia.        

Drop-Hammer Mon, 04/09/2018 - 23:42 Permalink

Maryland is nigger-central in the cities.  Libtard jew-central in the suburbs and delusional libtard all around.  No business in its right mind would set up shop there.