News Release

Amazon HQ2 Doesn’t Deliver Jobs: A Lesson on Corporate Subsidies


The New York Times reports: “Amazon Pauses Work on 2nd Headquarters in Virginia.”

GREG LeROY,, @goodjobsfirst
LeRoy is executive director of Good Jobs First, which scrutinizes corporate subsidies by local and state governments.

The group has an Amazon Tracker which estimates $5.1 billion in local and state subsidies to the tech giant.

He said today: “Amazon’s HQ2 slowdown is the latest evidence that incentives do not enable a company to defy gravity. At least the State of Virginia’s subsidies — probably the smallest offered among the HQ2 finalists — are performance-based, so the State is not going to pay unless the jobs materialize. Residents of Long Island City in Queens are once again validated: they rejected what could have been massive displacement and then job disappointment.

“We disapproved of Amazon getting anything at all. But it had many offers worth more than 10 times what it got in Arlington, even in suburban Maryland. So this slowdown is one more teachable moment in why subsidies don’t matter and are usually wasted.”

In 2018, LeRoy was featured on an IPA news release: “Amazon HQ2: ‘Massive Transfer of Wealth from Taxpayers to Shareholders.'”

In a recent report, the group found: “New York State Schools Lose $1.8 Billion Per Year to Corporate Tax Abatements.”