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Tim Cook throws shade at Amazon’s search for a second HQ


Atlanta was Georgia’s only applicant and is considered a front runner, with an Amazon lobbyist visiting the city in December.

Atlanta never disclosed the details of the proposal it submitted for HQ2, but it described it as ‘aggressive’ in terms of incentives offered. City officials did not specify what the incentives were.

‘On the city side alone, we put forth more incentives than we’ve ever put forward in the history of the city,’ Mayor Kasim Reed said last year, adding that ‘nothing was left on the table.’


Austin did not promise any financial incentives or city tax cuts with its proposal.

Instead, its chances rest on the University of Texas’s crop of young, tech talent and the fact that it is where Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired last year, is based there.


Boston’s proposal was made public and was 218 pages long. It touted the city’s talent and offered Amazon a ‘task force’ of city workers to help with the transition.

City officials did not specify what tax incentives they would offer straight away and said that if the company got to round 2, they would take tax talks more seriously.

Instead, it highlighted the city’s proximity to Harvard and suggested easy transport links which would funnel the university’s talent to HQ2 easily. 


Dallas offered a unique promise – the construction of a high speed rail which would shuttle workers from Houston in 90 minutes. They laid it out as giving Amazon access to two cities in one.

It did not make its full bid public, feeding speculation about which tax cuts were offered.


Denver released a redacted version of its bid in October which did not specify what financial incentives, if any, it would offer.

Officials have said that any the city does put on the table will be ‘modest’ in comparison to others.

The city’s international airport contributed to its proposal. The pitch also included potential sites for the HQ but those were redacted.


Indianapolis is among the smaller cities which is bidding for the HQ2. Their bid was confidential but did not rule out tax incentives.

Officials said it was a ‘long shot’ but was too good an opportunity to pass up.

Los Angeles

The L.A. bid was not made public in full detail but there are a number of reasons why would it would be a sound choice.

Chief among them is the proximity it will have to Amazon Studios, the Santa Monica-based film development arm of the company.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO and founder, also recently purchased a new home there.

California is however not known to compete in tax offerings, one of the incentives Amazon said it would consider when it asked for proposals.


Miami has not made its proposal public but its tax offerings will not be in the same league as others if they make any.

Montgomery County, Md.

Montgomery County in Maryland is one of the most surprising entries on the list.

Its officials redacted the tax offerings when they released the proposal last year. They also highlighted the areas highly skilled and trained workforce and proximity to other major cities.

Nashville, Tennessee

Amazon already has five ‘fulfillment’ centers in Tennessee and has won huge tax breaks from the state by choosing to put them there as opposed to anywhere else in the country.

The company has also been given millions in grants for infrastructure and training in past years through the fulfilment centers, making it a strong choice for a second HQ.

Newark, NJ.

Newark has one of the boldest tax incentives for Amazon – a $7billion break in city and state taxes if they put their second HQ in the Garden State.

Governor Chris Christie was upfront about the incentives when he announced Newark’s bid for HQ2.

If accepted, the company would become the recipient of the largest tax cut in the state.

New York City

New York’s bid for the headquarters has not been as aggressive as others and Mayor Bill De Blasio did not offer any tax incentives that are not already in place.

In his proposal, he touted sites including Hudson Yards in Midtown West and in Long Island City for the HQ.

Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia has not yet revealed whether or not it plans to give Amazon a tax break if it wins.


Philadelphia will not discuss which tax incentives it has offered.

On Thursday, after it was named as one of the cities on the shortlist, an official told Curbed they were ‘aggressive but not irresponsible.’

Pennsylvania has however offered a rumored $1billion tax break if the company puts its second base in the state.

Philadelphia is one of two on the shortlist – the other is Pittsburgh.


Pittsburgh has not announced any city tax breaks it plans to give Amazon if it wins the bid. It is comparatively smaller than others.

They have however added a direct flight from Pittsburgh to Seattle since submitting their bid in the hope it will impress.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh said it will not ‘rely’ on tax incentives to lure Amazon’s business and that its workforce is appealing enough.


The only non-US city on the list, Canadian officials celebrated the news that Toronto had been included on the shortlist on Thursday.

They did not offer any tax incentives and took pride in the decision when the shortlist was announced. Instead, it focused on its culture and economy.

If Amazon chooses a Canadian city for its second HQ, it will face tough questions.

Apple has committed itself to investing in the US and, as a part of that, will plant its second base in America. It is a result of the giant tax cut the business received this year as a result of President Trump’s new policies.

Amazon’s plan for HQ2 predated these policies and so is not as directly linked.

However with the promise of 50,000 new jobs, it will face criticism should it pick a non-US city.

Washington D.C.

In close proximity to Bezos’s Washington Post, the nation’s capital is a natural choice for a second base and is not a surprise on the list.

It will likely qualify for existing tax incentives and additional breaks were not ruled out when the city submitted its proposal, though none have yet been mapped out.

It would also push the organization closer to lawmakers.


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