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American cities are courting Amazon, except maybe Seattle

Amazon's headquarters in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

I know corporations need those federal tax cuts, but there is one corporation that is already drowning in tax cuts without Congress having to lift a finger.

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As you know, Amazon is scouting around for a second headquarters. One theory is that they’re tired of being blamed by the locals in Seattle for inflating housing prices, and choking the downtown streets with well-paid millennials and their organic tofu restaurants.

So columnist Danny Westneat at The Seattle Times took a look at some of the offers that various cities have been making. The municipal groveling was breathtaking.

Chicago is an option, for example. Because there’s an income tax of close to 5 percent in Illinois, compared to the income tax of zero in Seattle, Chicago will use a special state program that refunds completely the income tax Amazon employees would pay.

Not to the employees, mind you, but to Amazon.

That’s almost like having to pay union dues except with this plan, the dues go to your employer and you don’t get a union.

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Then there’s Fresno, which would keep Amazon’s tax revenue, but would make Amazon a part of the city government. Amazon officers would get half of the seats on a governmental board controlling 85 percent of the tax revenue Amazon generates.

Parks, roads, fire stations, schools, Amazon could potentially decide what to build and where to build it.

One day you might be able to drive through Fresno, shout “Alexa,” and the whole town would do anything you say.

Alexa – it’s 115 degrees in this town – turn it down!

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