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The City of Arlington has published details on the $1 Billion in corporate handouts it was willing to offer Amazon for the development of its second headquarters. In an article on the city’s website, the Arlington City Office of Communication detailed the massive government giveaway the city offered Amazon, which came in the form of various taxpayer-funded immediate and long-term benefits.

The incentives that Arlington offered Amazon included:

  • Grants associated with number of Arlington residents hired by Amazon
  • A complete waiver of all property taxes for a 10-year period
  • Waiver of various development fees
  • Grants to assist Amazon in reworking the site of development
  • Creation of a Municipal Management District which would allow the company to use city resources for private maintenance costs.

All of these benefits would have been at taxpayers’ expense, in total providing a handout of almost $1 billion dollars to Amazon for the presence of their second headquarters. As private citizens are taxed out of their homes by skyrocketing local property taxes, local municipalities are redistributing taxpayer dollars to large corporations in order to incentivize them to expand into their region.

Small businesses and private citizens suffer most at the hands of so called “economic development” efforts. Uneven levels of taxation require higher taxes on entities that aren’t large enough to siphon taxpayer dollars from city coffers. Local activists must continue to fight crony schemes like Amazon HQ2 that threaten to turn healthy growth into a race to the bottom as cities try and compete for large companies that are happy to play them for fools.

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