RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Three city council members, including one from Austin, Texas, have signed a petition that opposes what they call the “tax-break bidding war” for Amazon’s multi-billion-dollar second headquarters project.
Gregorio Casar of Austin joined two Indianapolis politicians, Brad Lander and Jared Evans, in publicly opposing incentives, calling for others to support a “non-aggression pact.”
The state of North Carolina and various organizations across the Triangle are bidding for the Amazon project and are expected to be very aggressive in pursuing it. The Triangle is one of 20 finalists named in the horse race by the ecommerce giant.
At stake: Some 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars in investment.
The three politicos signed on to a movement launched by futurist Richard Florida. Casar wrote in a Facebook post that Amazon started the bidding war “at the expense of the public.”
“States, cities, and metropolitan regions should compete on the underlying strength of their communities—not on public handouts to private business,” the petition says.
Amazon has made clear tax incentives are critical part of the review process to pick a winner with a decision expected this year.
“We are signing onto the mutual non-aggression pact initiated by Richard Florida and signed by a diverse group of thousands of economists, academics, business leaders, and everyday people across the country to reject massive subsidies for Amazon,” Casar wrote.
“Amazon is using their economic and political power to push cities into a race-to-the-bottom. Major corporate subsidies for Amazon would undermine our ability as leaders to fund critical needs like education, transportation, housing, and infrastructure which make our cities attractive for investment in the first place.
“We believe that all the finalist cities, acting in unison, should refuse to authorize massive subsidies to Amazon for their second headquarters. Amazon should come to serve the people who live in our cities, not the other way around.”
The petition is available online.