October 26, 2017 --
By Oregon Small Business Association Foundation,
Photo of Amazon Seattle office
The “Amazon Effect” has been used to explain the troubles of brick-and-mortar retailers, supply chain disruptions, and even the death “Main Street USA.” Now, as the company is searching for a site for its second headquarters, critics are focusing on the tax incentives the company is taking advantage of. For example, one newspaper headline reports that Oregon gives Amazon more “tax breaks” than any other state.
The Oregon “tax breaks” are due almost entirely to one proposed investment in one location. Amazon plans to build a five-building data center near Hermiston that, at full build-out, would employ about 100 people and represent an investment of some $2.75 billion. Because of the size of the investment, Amazon qualifies for the state’s Strategic Investment Program, which would exempt most of the facility from property taxes for 15 years—an exemption valued at about $176 million.
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