Austin officials said Wednesday that no local financial incentives were included in the city’s proposal for Amazon’s $5 billion second headquarters project.
More than 230 cities and counties submitted bids for the project, which Amazon is calling its “HQ2.” Amazon announced in September that it would accept bids from North American cities that want to be home to the project.
A memo from interim city chief financial officer Greg Canally to Mayor Steve Adler and Austin City Council members says Austin did not include financial incentives in its proposal because the city has a public process it must engage in before approving any incentives for economic development projects. The process includes multiple City Council meetings and an opportunity for residents to weigh their opinion.
In a letter from Adler to Amazon that was included in the city’s proposal and released publicly on Wednesday, the mayor said Austin is eager to work with the online retail giant. The letter detailed positive features about the city such as the tech talent found here and prime educational institutions such as the University of Texas at Austin.
Adler also wrote about some of the challenges Austin is trying to conquer such as mobility.
“I firmly believe Austin and Amazon can help each other achieve solutions to our biggest challenges,” Adler wrote. “You’ll find in Austin a hospitable, purposeful collaborator that knows its strengths as well as its needs, and is thoroughly committed to building for the future.”
While Austin officials did not include local financial incentives in the city’s proposal, Gov. Greg Abbott’s office has said previously said it would offer an equal financial incentives package for any Texas city bidding for the Amazon project. If Amazon picks a city in Texas, it’s expected the majority of any financial incentives would come from the state.
The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce submitted the city’s proposal to Amazon on Oct. 18. Chamber officials said the bid was made on the behalf of Austin and the other cities and counties in the metro area.
Amazon said it will invest $5 billion in its second headquarters project and will hire 50,000 highly-paid workers wherever the project lands. The company said “HQ2” will eventually be the equivalent to its Seattle headquarters.
Amazon said it will pick a winning city sometime next year.
To read Adler’s full letter to Amazon, click here.
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