Amazon.com Inc’s plan to set up a second headquarters in northern Virginia, after being rebuffed in New York, will face its first test when local officials vote on Saturday on a proposed financial package worth an estimated $51 million.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) OPPONENT SAYING: "I'm here to speak in opposition of the incentives package because they haven't show they share our community values." After being rebuffed in New York, that's the sort of opposition Amazon is now facing in Northern Virginia, where it plans to build its second headquarters.
Critics of Amazon's Virginia plans voiced their concerns Saturday before Arlington local officials voted on a proposed financial package worth an estimated $51 million.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) OPPONENT SAYING: "Once Amazon comes to town, tenants are going to be looking for cheaper digs and a lot of fixed income single family home owners will have no option but to sell." In November, the Jeff Bezos-owned giant picked Northern Virginia along with New York for its so-called HQ2.
But in February it abruptly scrapped its plans to build in New York after mounting resistance from local leaders, who were upset by the incentives promised to Amazon.
And that same issue has re-emerged.
The $51 million incentive includes a controversial cash grant of $23 million to Amazon over 15 years, which will be collected from taxes on Arlington hotel rooms, meaning tourists and business travelers are expected to pick up much of that bill.