Amazon HQ2: Koch-linked group critiques tax incentives

By Business LeadersFOXBusiness

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Communities across North America have lined up to become home to Amazon’s second headquarters, but one group is criticizing the tax incentives that some cities are offering to attract the e-commerce giant.

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Generation Opportunity, a center-right political advocacy group, has started to run ads on social media opposing the tax incentives offered to Amazon, lambasting the breaks as unfair to taxpayers and small businesses.

The group is linked to the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch via its connection to Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy organization funded by the Kochs.

"Amazon is one of the largest, most successful corporations in the world — it doesn't need help from struggling taxpayers to build its second headquarters," Generation Opportunity policy director David Barnes said in a statement.

Amazon said it expects to invest over $5 billion in construction and plans to grow its second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. It will be a full equal to its current campus in Seattle, company officials said, adding that construction and ongoing operation of the headquarters will create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.

The short list of communities still in the running to become home to HQ2 include: Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Toronto, Ontario; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Chicago; Denver; Nashville, Tennessee; Los Angeles; Dallas; Boston; New York City; Newark, New Jersey; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Philadelphia; Montgomery County, Maryland; Washington D.C.; Raleigh, North Carolina; Northern Virginia and Miami.

Not all cities are vying to become home to Amazon’s HQ2. When the company originally started soliciting bids, San Jose’s Democratic Mayor Sam Liccardo told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney that he would not enter the California city into the competition.

“For the most part, these subsidies are a bad deal for taxpayers….And when you have cities throughout the country that are all in a bidding war, taxpayers throughout the country really lose,” Liccardo said on “Varney & Co.” in October.