KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The state of Missouri announced a proposal for Amazon’s second headquarters that includes its selection as a finalist for the International Hyperloop One competition.
The proposal supports Kansas City and St. Louis in the cities’ efforts to win the Amazon bid.
“Amazon is a company full of people who turn big ideas into reality,” Missouri Governor Eric Greitens said in a news release. “My team fully and equally supported the proposals submitted by our major metropolitan areas, Kansas City and St. Louis. We challenge Amazon to envision what it could achieve by partnering with us to unleash the combined strength of the entire state. We’d love to work with Amazon to build their new home here in Missouri.”
Amazon is promising 50,000 jobs and a $5 billion investment in the city that wins its new headquarters.
Missouri’s proposal wants Amazon to consider beginning the headquarters in either St. Louis or Kansas City, and in the future expanding to the second city with a transportation system such as hyperloop, according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
Missouri was selected as a finalist for the International Hyperloop One competition for a route that includes Kansas City, Columbia, and St. Louis.
Amazon required cities to submit proposals by Thursday. The online retailer will decide where to build its second North American headquarters sometime next year.
On Thursday morning, U.S. senators and representatives from Missouri and Kansas sent a letter to Amazon in support of The Kansas City Area Development Council's bid. The letter highlighted the region's high-speed Google Fiber internet, the success of other corporate headquarters and strategic location.
Amazon said it is looking for a metropolitan area with one million residents, an international airport, and a business-friendly environment.
While the proposal is long on pointing out positive attributes of the Kansas City metropolitan area and it's people; the proposal does not reveal any specifics tax incentives or abatements.
Patrick Tuohey, is Director of Municipal Policy at the think-tank group, the Show-Me Institute. Tuohey is worried that details about tax incentives are not being revealed because citizens might object.
"It makes me nervous, It makes me nervous that they have offered a great deal of subsidies... but I don't know that for sure," said Tuohey.
He said Kansas City has a history of offering massive tax breaks hoping to improve the overall economy.
"And an awful lot of times, we don't get as much as we thought and we don't get as much as we were promised and yet taxpayers are on the hook for the subsidies that are given out," Tuohey explained.
Tuohey said he would love for Amazon to build its second headquarters here but not if it means hurting schools and cities who depend on taxes to survive.
"Is it worth the bobbles the shinney things, the abatements, the tax incentives to bring them here and most of the time, research shows, it is not, Tuohey concluded.
While many cities are offering considerable tax breaks and incentives to land Amazon, others are staying away. San Antonio, Texas decided not to submit a proposal. Many economists wonder if the company's presence in a community will cause rent, traffic, and labor costs to skyrocket.
Click here to view Missouri’s Amazon proposal.
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