Amazon: The hunt for a second headquarters HQ2, caused 238 cities to give up their data to Amazon, which it can now use to aggressively buy real estate and capitalize on more free money & tax subsidies, using this data against those very same cities.

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“The three [Amazon] facilities shown here are located in an “industrial triangle,” with easy access to California’s Central Valley region via three major highways. The warehouse is less than a mile from a highway entrance and 15 minutes from the nearest airport. Nevertheless, Fresno approved up to $30 million in tax rebates and discounts for Amazon. That’s 30 years of sales tax revenue plus a 90% property tax abatement lost to one of California’s neediest citiesWith its insatiable appetite for public subsidies, Amazon is disinvesting communities for short-term profits,…But because Opportunity Zone investors are mostly secret and undisclosed, we cannot estimate the direct or indirect subsidies to Amazon created via OZs.”**

Amazon gained a huge perk from its HQ2 contest that’s worth far more than any tax break…It has also given Amazon something that’s potentially far more valuable than any subsidies it may have gleaned: a trove of data.

Amazon has a godlike view of what’s happening in digital commerce, and now cities have helped give it an inside look at what’s happening in terms of land use and development across the US,” said Stacy Mitchell, a director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a think tank based in Washington, DC. “Amazon will put that data to prodigious use in the coming years to expand its empire.”

Amazon could use this data to aid in future expansion as it selects sites for new stores, warehouses, data centers, fulfillment centers, and other brick-and-mortar needs.In some cases, the bids could help Amazon get a leg up over its competitors, because the data they contain might not be publicly available.

“This is an incredibly valuable trove of data that 238 cities spent time compiling and submitting to Amazon,” Mitchell said. “At the end of the day, it may well be that the data is the most valuable thing that Amazon has gotten out of this.

You can read the entire report here:

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