When Amazon.com announced that it was building a second headquarters, bringing with it a $5 billion investment and 50,000 jobs, it set up a nation-wide bidding war. According to the Dallas Morning News, Texas is no exception to the states eager to attract the investment and the jobs that come with it. Four Texas cities, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston, fit the size and infrastructure criteria that meet Amazon’s needs. However, Texas lawmakers face some challenges as well as enjoy some advantages in the quest to corral Amazon.
Contrary to widespread belief, Texas is not the most generous state when it comes to attracting businesses. New Jersey, for example, is offering $5 billion over ten years to nab Amazon. In contrast, the Texas Enterprise Fund would likely provide at most $500 million. This figure, more than the fund has paid out over a decade, would be true whether it is based on 10 percent of the private investment or $10,000 per job created.
Still, Jake Posey managing shareholder of The Posey Law Firm, PC noted that there are other methods that Texas could use to provide incentives for Amazon. Those methods include promises of infrastructure improvements that would benefit Texas as a whole, as well as an Amazon headquarters.
Then too, Texas has some inherent advantages that many other states do not enjoy. The state is in a central location, with a major port near Houston. Texas shares a border with Mexico and thus the emerging Latin American market.
Texas has low taxes, low real estate prices, and low labor costs. The state has a very business-friendly culture that should prove to be attractive to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos when he decides where to locate his second corporate headquarters.
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