Chicago Officially Submits Bid For Amazon’s HQ2

CHICAGO (CBS) — One day after Chicago formally applied to land Amazon’s second headquarters, we have our first clue how much it might cost.

Neither Mayor Rahm Emanuel nor Gov. Bruce Rauner are willing to say just how much cold, hard cash the city and state are dangling to lure Amazon.

“I believe our plan is not to talk publicly about details in our plan until all other bids have been submitted,” Rauner said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, however, is talking about his offer to bring Amazon to Newark — a $7 billion package in tax waivers, including $5 billion in state taxes, $1 billion in city property taxes and another billion in wage waxes waived.

But Emanuel is cautioning about focusing on tax incentives alone. “When you have the best educated workforce with the best institutions of higher education — game, set, match.”

Still, not every evaluator views Chicago so favorably. Moody’s Analytics, a subsidiary of Moody’s Corp. that provides economic and capital markets analysis, rated metro areas according to Amazon’s criteria. Austin, Texas came in first, followed by Atlanta, Philadelphia, Rochester, New York and Pittsburgh. Chicago ranked 25th.

The mayor countered with another rating from Conde Nast magazine, who reported that Chicago was just rated the best big city in America.

Rauner noted the stakes are even higher than often mentioned.

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“Let’s be clear, it’s not only 50,000 jobs. It is probably 120,000, maybe 140,000 jobs in total, because each job Amazon brings at over $100,000 in salary creates other jobs in support services,” the governor said.

Emanuel says Chicago’s proposal will be competitive with incentives offered elsewhere. He implied Chicago can afford to offer less in cash because of its many other attributes.

According to Rauner, details on the proposal could come as early as Thursday or Friday.

Bids conclude at the end of business day Thursday.

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