won Amazon is getting a record amount of tax breaks this year as local officials try to lure the online shopping giant to expand one- or same-day delivery networks in their areas.
According to data from Good Jobs First, a Washington, DC-based economic development watchdog, the company has so far secured about $650 million in tax credits from local and state governments in 2021, a combination of grants, tax credits and other incentives.
With three months to go, in 2021 the company had the largest annual turnover since Good Jobs First began collecting data in 2000. Excluding incentives for non-logistical projects, such as filmmaking and office development.
The company secured a package worth more than $750 million in 2019 to build its second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
The bountiful deals for Amazon’s delivery network come as local authorities struggle to rebuild their economies and labor markets in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a crisis that has seen Amazon’s profits soar due to its pivotal role in distributing merchandise during and beyond the shutdown.
The company defended the practice, citing its track record of creating jobs. “These incentives are usually available to any company that meets the criteria and companies get them only after they create jobs and make capital investments,” she said.
In 2020 alone, we invested $150 billion in the United States, opened more than 100 locations and created more than 400,000 jobs in more than 40 states.
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Amazon exemptions come in exchange for expanding the delivery network
The company also cited statements from the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) calling it an investment champion. Like many other large companies, Amazon is a donor to the Institute for Progressive Policy.
The think tank did not disclose the amount it received from the company. But she said her research was based on published financial statements and used a clearly documented methodology.
The company has received at least $4.1 billion in incentives since 2000, according to Good Jobs First. The e-commerce giant is adding more warehouses as it seeks to cut delivery times in more markets across the United States.
The company’s capital spending rose from $16.8 billion in 2019 to $40.1 billion in 2020. As of the end of the second quarter of this year, Amazon said capital expenditures had reached $26.4 billion.
Meanwhile, the company has petitioned local officials for incentives, often via third-party developers.
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