Georgia’s Amazon HQ2 Bid Could Mean Special Session: Governor

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By Chris Marr

Georgia’s bid to attract Amazon’s second headquarters could include a special legislative session later this year to enact any necessary incentives or special accommodations, Gov. Nathan Deal (R) said Jan. 10.

The governor’s remarks were designed to discourage the Legislature from speculating on ways to win the Amazon.com Inc. project during its regular 2018 session, which began Jan. 8.

“It may be months before Amazon makes a decision or even narrows their choices, and we have many important issues to consider in the interim during this legislative session,” Deal said in a speech to legislative and business leaders.

Amazon publicly solicited proposals for the project last fall, and there has been speculation that Atlanta is among the top contenders. Atlanta and Austin, Texas, recently held top odds for those betting on the project’s site through Irish gambling website Paddy Power.

Georgia has made a “highly competitive offer” for Amazon’s HQ2 project, Deal said. And if the state makes Amazon’s list of three finalists, the governor will call a special session if needed to “make whatever statutory changes are required to accommodate a business opportunity of this magnitude.”

Amazon said it expects to invest $5 billion and create up to 50,000 jobs at a second corporate campus that will be equal in size to its headquarters in Seattle. The company’s HQ2 website says it has received 238 proposals from cities and regions across North America.

Many cities and states, including Georgia, have kept the details of their proposals quiet. New Jersey’s Legislature, on the other hand, already passed legislation Jan. 8 creating special job tax credits that would be worth at least $3 billion to Amazon.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Marr in Atlanta at cmarr@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan C. Tuck at rtuck@bloombergtax.com

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