Amazon pulls out of Long Island City, renews chance for HQ2 in Maryland.

In a surprise reversal, Amazon has announced it will no longer build a headquarters in Long Island City, New York.

After an exhaustive selection process last year, the online giant announced it would put new headquarters in two locations: Northern Virginia and Long Island City, New York. However, soon after the announcement, local politicians in Long Island expressed concerns about the negative impact on the borough and Amazon’s perceived windfall of $3 billion in tax breaks.

Amazon said it had no plans to reopen an HQ2 search, but would continue forward with projects in Northern Virginia and Nashville. In a press conference on Thursday, Governor Larry Hogan was asked if Maryland would make another offer to Amazon.

“We actually have had preliminary discussions with already, and we’re looking forward to meeting with them to discuss it further.”

Montgomery County was one of the original top 20 finalists for HQ2. The county’s offer to the tech giant was one of the most lucrative -- up to $8.5 billion for 50,000 jobs. The package included state and local tax credits, infrastructure upgrades, loans, and a waiver of residency at University of Maryland for Amazon employees and their families. 

Montgomery County has been under pressure to boost economic development after a negative report was issued late last year. The study noted a lack of new business formation, slow job growth, and the heavy reliance on federal government jobs. The county was dealt another blow last year when Discovery Communications announced it was vacating its Silver Spring headquarters for New York City.

The debacle in Long Island City has stoked the conversation about local governments giving exorbitant tax breaks to large corporations. Some people see big corporations taking advantage of opportunity starved municipalities, while others see it as a chance to attract a business anchor to the community.

Do you think Maryland should offer incentives to bring Amazon to Maryland? Tell us in the comments!

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