Hogan reveals details of Maryland $5B plan to lure Amazon

WASHINGTON — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is releasing more details about the state’s $5 billion plan to lure Amazon to Montgomery County for its much-anticipated second headquarters.

Hogan’s office released Monday the outline of a legislative proposal clearing the way for more than $3 billion in tax incentives for the company and a pledge to spend billions more in road, transit and infrastructure upgrades.

Last week, Amazon announced Montgomery County’s pitch — along with 19 others nationwide — had been selected to get a closer look from the tech and online retail giant.

D.C. and Northern Virginia also ended up on Amazon’s shortlist.

In a statement, Hogan said the second headquarters “is the single greatest economic development opportunity in a generation, and we’re committing all of the resources we have to bring it home to Maryland”

The “Promoting ext-Raordinary Innovation in Maryland’s Economy” — or PRIME — Act provides state income tax credits equivalent to 5.75 of wages for each job created at the new Amazon headquarters. The credits would apply to jobs created within the first 17 years of the project that pay between $60,000 and $500,000.

The governor’s office said the tax credits would add up to more than $3 billion.

In addition, Hogan’s proposal would allocate $10 million per year out of the state’s “Sunny Day Fund” over 15 years.

The legislation would technically apply to any Fortune 100 company that spends $5 billion to create a new headquarters in the state and employs at least 40,000 employees.

However, those criteria line up with what Amazon has already promised. The law’s acronym — PRIME — also mirrors the name of the popular Amazon subscription service.

Hogan’s proposal contains an unspecified $2 billion for transportation infrastructure.

“We’ll see what he has in mind there,” Montgomery County Council President Hans Riemer told reporters Monday. He said resolving the long term funding for WMATA is critical.

“That should be a foremost concern for Maryland and for the District and for Virginia,” he said, referring to the two other finalists in Amazon’s top 20.

Montgomery County Ike Leggett has so far remained mum on the specific site for the new headquarters.

When Riemer was asked by reporters where a possible Amazon HQ2 facility could end up, he said he did not want to be “prejudicial about what properties are involved.“ But he said, “In 2010 the county council enacted a very visionary plan for Rockville Pike, for White Flint and we’re continuing to build on that with the recent White Flint 2 Plan that the council passed just weeks ago, the Grovesnor Plan that we passed weeks ago, the Rock Spring Plan that we passed just weeks ago.”

Riemer added: “We have been planning 20 years down the road to allow for the county’s transformation from suburban shopping centers to urban centers … That’s a good example of where you could place such a large number of jobs in the future.”

Northern Virginia officials are pitching a site near the border of Fairfax and Loudoun counties, which is along Metro’s Silver Line and in the heart of one of the largest data center markets in the world.

D.C. officials submitted four sites for consideration, including the areas surrounding RFK Stadium and the Shaw neighborhood near Howard University.

Other cities in the final 20 include Austin, Texas; Atlanta, Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Nashville, Tennessee.

Amazon plans to announce its choice later this year.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report from Rockville, Maryland. 

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