Maryland Legislature Approves $5.6B Amazon Tax Breaks

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By Leslie A. Pappas

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) will sign a $5.6 billion tax incentive package for Amazon.com Inc., the governor’s office confirmed April 4.

Lawmakers approved the legislation, S.B. 877, on April 4 by a 34-12 vote in the Senate and a 79-59 vote in the House. The measure hasn’t arrived on the governor’s desk, so it’s uncertain when he will sign the bill, governor spokeswoman Shareese DeLeaver Churchill told Bloomberg Tax in an email April 4.

The bill was written directly in response to Amazon’s September 2017 announcement that it would establish a second headquarters (HQ2). Amazon has put Montgomery County, Md., on its short list of potential HQ2 sites. Nineteen cities in the U.S. and one in Canada are also in the running for the site, which the company says would bring 50,000 high-paying jobs and generate a $5 billion investment in the local community.

Hogan has called Amazon’s HQ2 “the single greatest economic development opportunity in a generation” and has pledged to commit “all of the resources we have to bring it home to Maryland.”

$17 Billion More

Amazon’s second headquarters would support more than 101,000 total jobs and bring Maryland an extra $17 billion per year in economic activity, an analysis from the Maryland Department of Commerce estimated.

The incentive package would offer $5.6 billion in tax incentives to any “qualifying business” that commits to hiring a minimum of 40,000 people and spending $4.5 billion over a 17-year period. The incentives only would take effect if Amazon comes to Maryland and would expire if a business doesn’t qualify before Jan. 1, 2022.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leslie A. Pappas in Philadelphia at lpappas@bloomberglaw.com

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

For More Information

Text of S.B.877 is at http://src.bna.com/xCo.

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