Not Everyone is usually Happy About Amazon Building Its Second Headquarters In Their Towns

As cities across the country beg along with clamor to become the second headquarters location for Amazon, civic leaders in many places — including Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, along with Nashville — are calling for a more critical eye.

In an open letter to the Amazon CEO sent Tuesday morning, 73 civic groups through cities along with towns around the country say in which in its quest for a completely new headquarters outside Seattle, the company is usually demanding too much in terms of tax breaks along with not generating enough promises to the communities under review.

“So last month, Amazon announced in which you are looking for a location for your second headquarters (HQ2), along with cities across North America jumped at a chance to submit proposals,” the letter says. “You have your list of things you’re looking for through cities — nevertheless we live in these cities, along with we’ve got some expectations of our own for Amazon.”

Signatories to the letter called for the company to hire locally for construction jobs, improve conditions for warehouse workers, contribute to affordable housing developments, along with decline tax incentives in which allow the item to sell off its corporate income tax credits.

“Amazon features a history of getting a lot of corporate welfare in cities where the item’s built warehouses along with data centers,” Erin Johansson, research director with Jobs With Justice, a workers’ advocacy group in Washington, DC, in which has signed the letter, told BuzzFeed News.

“They’re a highly profitable company along with shouldn’t need a handout, nevertheless they take advantage of cities’ willingness to do in which,” she added. “in which’s been their M.O. We see an opportunity to say, ‘We don’t want a repeat of in which.'”

The groups in which signed the letter have a long list of demands for Amazon, including in which the item employ “a substantial percentage” of people through disadvantaged communities, limit the use of temporary agencies to staff its warehouses, along with make a “significant” annual contribution to support affordable housing.

“We love jobs, we love technology, along with we love convenience,” the letter says, “nevertheless what you’re looking for will impact every part of our cities. We built these cities, along with we want to make sure they remain ours. “

The community groups also want Amazon to pay all its property taxes along with sales tax on any equipment or building materials the item will used during construction. along with they ask in which the company collect sales tax on sales by its third-party merchants, an issue in which has heated up as some states start to collect taxes on sales by Amazon merchants.

While Amazon is usually still within the early stages of the proposal process, the groups’ demands may be a hard sell. Amazon seems to expect an incentive package beyond a “business-friendly environment along with tax structure,” according to its request for proposals released in September.

the item asks city applicants to outline an incentive package in which could include anything through tax incentives for land to site preparation, tax exemptions, relocation grants, workforce grants, along with fee reductions. the item even anticipates some cities may have to create “special incentive legislation in order for the state/province to achieve a competitive incentive proposal,” the item writes in its request for proposals.

In return, Amazon plans to invest over $5 billion in construction along with operation of Amazon HQ2 along with bring as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs to the selected area.

The company’s record in Seattle has cities looking to boost their local economies buckling at the knees. Amazon estimates its investments in Seattle, where the item is usually currently headquartered, through 2010 through 2016 resulted in one more $38 billion to the city’s economy. For each dollar Amazon invested, Seattle generated one more 1.4 dollars for the city’s overall economy.

nevertheless where smitten cities see dollar signs, some housing along with worker advocates see warning signs.

“This kind of may be be one of the biggest deals any of our city officials will ever negotiate,” said Nikki Fortunato Bas, executive director of Partnership for Working Families, a federation of regional advocacy groups.

Bas, whose organization signed the letter, told BuzzFeed News: “We want to make sure in which we’re using all the brainpower of everyone in our community to make sure our communities get what they need along with thrive in This kind of deal.”