Jeff Bezos is Getting Slammed Over HQ2 Decision

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By Published On: November 15, 20180 Comments

Was Amazon’s 14-month search for the perfect HQ2 and decision to split the office between two locations just a way of getting cash grants and tax breaks?

After confirming the locations of Amazon’s split HQ2 in New York and Arlington earlier in the week, people have taken to Twitter to express their outrage over how the selection process was handled, with many claiming the decision was rigged from the beginning.

Despite the promise of creating 25,000 new jobs in each location, Amazon’s decision to split its new headquarters between two key locations in Queens in New York and Arlington in Virginia hasn’t been as well received as CEO, Jeff Bezos might have hoped. In fact, speculation has circled that the arduous decision process was all a farce to gain tax breaks and cash grants.

The public are less than pleased by Amazon’s HQ2 announcement.

More than 20 cities in the US made attempts to woo Amazon, amidst promises of 5,000 new jobs and US$5 billion in funding, which reportedly saw key cities offer the company tax breaks and cash grants to convince the business to choose them over other locations that were in the running.

New York, for instance, reportedly lured Amazon with more than US$1.5 billion in incentives, with the company set to receive rebates on tax paid on employee salaries, as well as reimbursements for building the new offices.

But, some say the process was rigged from day one, as Bezos always wanted to build his new headquarters near where he owns property, which coincidently, happens to be in New York, Virginia, and where the company’s flagship headquarters is in Seattle.

Jeff Bezos

Did Amazon plan on picking New York and Virginia all along?

Bezos has also been slammed for the lack of transparency exhibited during the selection process, with members of the tech community accusing the wealthy entrepreneur of “extracting blatant loot” from cities. Developer, David Heinemeier even went as far as saying the richest man in the world extorted the cities involved as he makes a play for “total domination”.

Members of the tech community slam Bezos over his lack of transparency.

The general public were even less accepting of Amazon’s HQ2 announcement, taking to Twitter to vent their frustrations over the traffic and public transport congestion and rising property prices that will likely follow-on from Amazon’s local presence.

“This #AmazonHQ2 is bad for existing Queens residents”, one user wrote, while another said “you picked the two places that don’t need or want you.”

Residents expect house prices to rise once Amazon builds its new headquarters.

In a statement announcing the two new HQ2 locations, Amazon claimed it had decided to split its headquarters into two sites in a bid to ease public discontent over infrastructure and over-crowding concerns.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, however, has praised Amazon’s decision to open a headquarters in Queens.

“New York can proudly say that we have attracted one of the largest, most competitive economic development investments in U.S. history,” he said.

“With an average salary of $150,000 per year for the tens of thousands of new jobs Amazon is creating in Queens, economic opportunity and investment will flourish for the entire region.”

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