Virginia woos Amazon, Welcome to Washington DC (traffic) hell Bezos
We get that Bezos wants to park himself right on the Potomac, right near his other property The Washington Post, so he can keep an eye on things and meddle in politics easily. But putting the new Amazon HQ2 (part of it) in Arlington, right near the Pentagon seems a horrible idea. That area is the last place you'd find me during the day if I could help it. But now 30,000 new employees in that little corner? How are they going to get to work, by helicopter? Maybe Amazon will issue a fleet of those electric scooters to the new employees. I don't know. But something tells me that the taxpayers of Virginia are going to help make Bezos's vision happen.
In an earlier article we took issue with Rep. Ocasio Cortez's whining that Amazon was getting tax breaks in New York. And we were right to. Tax breaks are different from new taxpayer financed "infrastructure" or tax credits, which cost the taxpayer. There's plenty of that in the Virginia deal. (And likely in New York too.)
(From The National Review)
The state of Virginia is giving Amazon more than a half-billion dollars, with the local government of Arlington kicking in another $23 million.
Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of $573 million based on the company creating 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Arlington. This includes a workforce cash grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia of up to $550 million based on $22,000 for each job created over the next 12 years. Amazon will only receive this incentive if it creates the forecasted high-paying jobs. The company will also receive a cash grant from Arlington of $23 million over 15 years based on the incremental growth of the existing local Transient Occupancy Tax, a tax on hotel rooms.
In other words, Arlington is raising taxes in order to pay Amazon to locate there. This is not how government and taxation are supposed to work.