Monday, May 20, 2024
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Amazon.com Gets Another Ridiculous Tax Break



Amazon.com just got the largest known economic development subsidy award in history, and analysts call it a “massive transfer of wealth from Oregon taxpayers to Amazon shareholders.”

This is according to a report that the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Good Jobs First published this month.

The arrangement comes through a local enterprise zone award from the city, county and Port Authority of Morrow. Five Amazon.com Web Services (AWS) cloud-computing data centers will avoid $1 billion in taxes.

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“Amazon hasn’t said how many jobs it will create, but the program under the tax breaks were approved requires just 10 jobs per project,” Good Jobs First said.

“AWS is the world’s largest cloud-computing provider and Amazon’s largest profit center. Morrow residents got only ONE day’s notice before the final vote of approval was taken.”

Data centers create few jobs.

“One public official who approved the deal admitted he had no idea how many jobs the data centers would create,” Good Jobs First said.

As RVIVR reported in December, Amazon.com has squeezed more than $5.1 billion in economic subsidies from various localities and states. This, even as it plans massive layoffs.

Within the last two years, as Good Jobs First documented:

• Amazon received one of its biggest packages ever in Niagara County, New York. In exchange for $124 million, Amazon promised to create 950 jobs paying roughly the county’s minimum wage when the warehouse opens: $15 an hour.  The jobs, per the agreement, were part-time or contract workers employed by temp agencies.

• Blount County, Tennessee committed $12 million for road improvements necessitated by an Amazon warehouse. Amazon will make payments for that work via a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement, over the next 20 years, instead of paying property taxes.

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• A developer that will house an Amazon warehouse is benefiting from a tax increment financing (TIF) deal that will lower its costs by $1.8 million in Charlton, Massachusetts.

• Amazon got more than $51 million for data centers in Morrow County, Oregon in 2022.

According to its website, Good Jobs First is a policy resource center. The group promotes corporate and government accountability in economic development.

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