- Northern Virginia residents raise HQ plan concerns
- $51m in public benefits to be made available after vote
- Hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue expected to be generated
Amazon recently halted plans to build a new headquarters in Long Island City after public officials criticized the idea, and now the company’s plans are meeting resistance from northern Virginia residents.
On Saturday afternoon, a county board meeting in Arlington saw town officials vote on an incentive package that could be worth $51m in public benefits. The opposition to the deal suggested that the same type of backlash that occurred in New York could follow.
The event, which was live-streamed, saw people at the meeting objecting to the plans and chants of “shame” could be heard after each board member voted in favor of providing the funding.
Amazon said 25,000 jobs could be created, paying an average salary of $150,000 a year. Arlington could expect to receive taxes totaling hundreds of millions of dollars over 16 years.
Supporters of the deal said diversity would be added to the local economy, which currently relies on the federal government. Opponents raised questions about giving a private company cash from the county.
Katie Crystol said: “Redeveloping Crystal City is good for this community,” and added that Amazon’s move would be followed by other corporate investment.
The $51m figure would include $23m as a pay-for-performance package, giving Amazon up to 15% of net new hotel tax revenues “associated with increased business travel to Arlington related to the Amazon headquarters” over 15 years.The Arlington government will be setting aside up to $28m over the next ten years that would be derived from future tax revenue from the Crystal City, Potomac Yard and Pentagon City Tax Increment Financing Area, which are situated around the new headquarters.