Christie Backs Newark's Amazon Bid With $7 Billion in Tax Breaks

Speculation Frenzy Ignites Over Amazon's Second HQ

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is seeking to deploy $7 billion in potential tax credits to lure Amazon.com Inc.’s planned second headquarters to Newark, which has been struggling to stage a broad economic revival since it was devastated by riots in 1967.

The proposal would offset state and city taxes, including an incentive through New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority that could reach $5 billion over 10 years, the governor’s office said Monday in a statement. The remainder of the tax breaks would come from a $1 billion city property tax abatement and a wage tax waiver of $1 billion for employees.

A reputation for crime and poverty has kept the state’s largest city, just 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Manhattan, mostly on the sidelines of the urban revival that’s transformed swaths of blight into trendy neighborhoods across the U.S. In recent years, though, Prudential Financial Inc. has built a new office tower in Newark and has backed several real estate projects.

Read more: NYC business leaders make push for Amazon HQ2

Seattle-based Amazon last month solicited proposals for the second headquarters, a project expected to cost more than $5 billion and create 50,000 jobs during the next 15 to 17 years. Politicians across the U.S. and Canada have eagerly expressed interest. Newark has competition from big cities such as Boston and Chicago and smaller markets including Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Memphis, Tennessee.

The company set an Oct. 19 deadline for proposals and plans to make a decision next year.

— With assistance by Spencer Soper

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