Agreement: Amazon gets $23M; Arlington gets 6M feet occupied

Aerial view of Crystal City, in Arlington, Va. Photo: Picryl

March 6 (UPI) — Arlington, Virginia, offered up $23 million in tax incentives in exchange for office space occupancy, to lure Amazon to build its second headquarters there.

The agreement, revealed Tuesday, states that Amazon will receive up to 15 percent of a “transient occupancy tax,” which is a tax on hotel rooms, for 15 years that Amazon estimates will equal $23 million, it has previously said.

The 20-page agreement also stipulates that Amazon will be subjected to the states’ Freedom of Information Act, but that the giant retailer will be given two business days written notice “to allow Amazon to take such steps as it deems appropriate with regard to the requested disclosure of records.”

These financial incentives are on top of the $750 million in subsidies over the next 15 years Virginia state agreed to in late January, the Washington Post reported.

Amazon has said that its so-called National Landing headquarters in Arlington will create more than 25,000 full-time jobs as well as inject $2.5 billion in investment.

“This is a big win for Virginia — I’m proud Amazon recognizes the tremendous assets the Commonwealth has to offer and plans to deepen its roots here,” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement back in November when Amazon made its decision. “Virginia put together a proposal for Amazon that we believe represents a new model of economic development for the 21st century, and I’m excited to say that our innovative approach was successful.”

The new Amazon headquarters are to be located less than three miles from downtown Washington D.C.

However, the agreement with the county does not make mention of construction wages or donations to affordable housing projects that activists had argued for.

The agreement, which the Arlington County Board will vote on March 16, follows Amazon canceling plans to build the second of its so-called HQ2 buildings in New York, Brooklyn, blaming the decision on a lack of political support.


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