No Tax Breaks in Minnesota Amazon Bid

October 18, 2017 08:22 AM

There are no major tax incentives in Minnesota's bid to be home to Amazon's "second headquarters" complex, according to Gov. Mark Dayton. He says the state's bid is "businesslike" and "professional."

"I met yesterday with the principals involved in putting together our application," Dayton said at a State Capitol news conference Tuesday. "I feel very good about it."

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Dayton said it will highlight Minnesota's education system, strong business climate and growing mass transit system. He calls it "a businesslike proposal without the gimmicks or gadgetry and all the sensational PR stuff we are told is not going to be persuasive."

RELATED: Amazon Sites Submitted, but List Kept Secret

Dayton didn't rule out adding some financial incentives if Minnesota makes it past the original stage of the application process with Amazon.

However, a coalition of small businesses called the "Main Street Alliance" urged the governor and state lawmakers to resist offering tax incentives.

RELATED: Dayton Confident Minnesota Can Make Strong Amazon Bid

"Giving tax breaks to big corporations like Amazon does not create the kind of economy that help small businesses or most people thrive," said Angela Schwesnedl, owner of Moon Palace Books who hosted a news conference with other business owners.

A recent KSTP/SurveyUSA poll showed that 55 percent of Minnesotans say they support big tax incentives for Amazon, with just 24 percent opposed.

Dayton said the state's Amazon bid will highlight nearly $37 million worth of tax incentives that are available through existing programs. However, Amazon would have to compete with all other businesses for those dollars.

Amazon says it might invest up to $5 billion in a second headquarters and eventually employ up to 50,000 people.

Bids are due by Thursday.


Of 550 adults asked via a KSTP/SurveyUSA poll whether Minnesota should "offer major tax breaks or other financial incentives to encourage Amazon to locate their new corporate headquarters in the state?," 55 percent said "yes," 24 percent said "no," and 21 percent said "not sure."

Note: The margin of error for this question is +- 4.2 percent


Amazon by the Numbers

Amazon is the most popular online store in the U.S. as measured by annual net e-commerce sales, and it's not even close. The company generated more than $46.3 billion in 2016 via e-commerce sales of physical goods. Walmart.com was second with nearly $11.5 billion. Below are some of the company's key numbers.

Data courtesy of Statista

  • Net Sales Revenue 2016: $135.99 billion (2015 = $107.01 billion)
  • Net Income 2016: $2.371 billion (2015 = $596 million)
  • Number of Employees of Amazon.com 2016: 341,400
  • Biggest Revenue Segment 2016: Retail
  • Year-Over-Year Revenue Growth as of 2016: 27%
  • Outbound Shipping Costs 2016: $16.2 billion
  • Brand Value 2017: $139.29 billion
  • U.S. Ad Spend 2016: $2.6 billion
  • Unique Monthly Visitors Amazon Sites as of December 2016: 189 million

Credits

Tom Hauser

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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