How much for Amazon’s second headquarters? Colorado submits its bid touting jobs, not incentives
October 18, 2017
There were no promises to turn property into the city of Amazon, Colo. There were no bribes like the 21-foot cactus an Arizona city sent to get the massive retailer to build a second headquarters there. And there was no way Colorado was going to touch one state's lavish offer of $7 billion in public incentives.
Colorado, which doesn't plan to ask taxpayers for more funding to lure Amazon, submitted a more subdued proposal on Wednesday that it hopes will attract a new employer and bring up to 50,000 jobs to the Denver region. The state emailed the official bid a day before Amazon's deadline, plus it mailed five paper copies overnight to the Seattle retailer's headquarters.
"Colorado's proposal does not lead with incentives. It leads with talent," said Sam Bailey, who led the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. that worked with the state to submit the official bid. "Ultimately, 50,000 jobs shouldn't be led with incentives but a community that has the resources to support it."
The state offered Amazon the usual public incentives — its Strategic Fund Incentive, which set aside about $10 million to recruit large employers; and its Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit, which has no cap. But because Amazon declined to share how it would ramp up hiring over 10 to 15 years, Bailey said the state cannot make accurate calculations, but based on the past, state performance-based incentives could be "in excess of $100 million," he said.