Amazon HQ2: $23 Million Incentives Package Approved in Virginia
By Sophia Barnes and Christian Paz
After a meeting punctuated by angry audience outbursts, the Arlington County Board voted up a multimillion-dollar incentives package for Amazon, which has announced plans to build its second headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia.
The 5-0 vote on Saturday came after an extensive public comment period in which more than 100 people signed up to speak, including several community opponents to Amazon's arrival.
The tense public meeting featured heated back-and-forths between board and community members. As board members announced their "yes" votes, people in the audience shouted "shame."
Under the proposed package, Amazon could receive a direct payout estimated to be worth $23 million directly from the county and benefit from $458 million in transportation, housing and infrastructure spending over a 10-15 year period.
The direct incentives will come from a hotel tax called the Transient Occupancy Tax. Arlington County expects to see more money flood in from that tax as business travelers come to the Amazon campus and would give Amazon up to 15 percent of revenue over 15 years.