NEWARK, NJ – Governor Chris Christie signed bipartisan legislation Thursday authorizing billions of dollars in state tax incentives to draw Amazon’s second headquarters to Newark.
Amazon's move to Newark could bring up to 50,000 new jobs to the region.
The city was selected by Christie in October as the state’s endorsed recommendation to be the Seattle-based retail giant’s next corporate headquarters, or HQ2.
Bill S3631/A5340 would produce the majority of the $7 billion being offered in state and city tax credits to Amazon’s HQ2 if they make the move to the Garden State.
Included in the offer to Amazon is a merit-based state tax incentive through the state Economic Development Authority (EDA) that could reach $5 billion over 20 years and a city property tax abatement of up to $1 billion.
The new legislation would also make Amazon eligible for $10,000 in tax breaks each year for for every full-time job created.
Amazon currently employs about 13,000 people throughout the state.
“Today’s bipartisan action proves that nobody in any other state wants Amazon’s HQ2 more than New Jersey and the City of Newark, and there is nowhere better for this tremendously innovative job creator to grow and thrive,” Christie said.
“It shows we deliver on our promises, and Amazon’s leaders have to be thrilled about this premier opportunity to drive Newark’s technology boom and benefit from all that this diverse city has to offer, including its central location in the largest economic region, a phenomenal regional and global transportation network, a top-notch workforce, and America’s fastest Internet," the governor said.
"Amazon’s HQ2 in New Jersey means thousands of six-figure jobs for residents, as well as consumer and revenue growth for area businesses and vendors," Christie said.
In October, Christie joined Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and U.S. Senator Cory Booker to announce Newark as the top applicant in Amazon’s ongoing selection process.
"Newark is obviously the place that I believe that Amazon should be," Baraka said in October. "There is no other place in the country where Amazon should go. Everything else is a cliche. Brooklyn sounds like a cliche, and so does Denver. This is one hurdle, and we have many more hurdles to go. But I believe that we have the stamina to get over all of them."
Booker called Newark one of America's greatest cities and noted the renaissance the city has seen over the last decade.
"The truth of Newark in the last decade plus has been of a city charging back, and reclaiming its space, step by step, as one of America's greatest cities," Booker said in October.
"It is the choice for companies who want to relocate and remain competitive and strong, not just in New Jersey and not just in our nation, but in a global context," Booker said. "We sit smack dab in the middle of the New York metropolitan region. And by Amazon locating in this great city, they will demonstrate to this nation that our inner-city spaces are not places to be avoided."
Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin, who sponsored the bill, said she was pleased the governor signed the legislation.
“Newark is a focal point in a massive economic region, complete with a burgeoning technology sector, the country’s fastest Internet, an extensive transportation infrastructure, stellar higher education facilities, great culture and history and a diverse and talented workforce," said Pintor Marin, who represents Newark.
"I can think of no place in America that offers the great potential that Newark does for Amazon," she said. "Quite simply, it’s the ideal location, one that has already been on the rise with expanded economic development. Amazon would be another key piece of the city’s already great future."
Amazon announced its solicitation of North American regions last year in a highly-competitive selection process for its second corporate headquarters and received a total of 238 proposals from cities and provinces throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Other cities in the running include Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago, Denver, New York, Nashville, Austin and Minneapolis. Newark is already home to Audible, an audio book company that was purchased by Amazon in 2008 for $300 million.
Amazon will make a decision on the location of HQ2 sometime this year.