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Council Members, Kochs, and Socialists Unite Against Amazon

Petitions and protests urge cities to stop offering tax incentives to Amazon HQ2. But who’s listening?
As 20 cities say "Amazon, come!" a mounting resistance cries "Amazon: Go."
As 20 cities say "Amazon, come!" a mounting resistance cries "Amazon: Go."Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

As cities draft incentive packages to lure Amazon’s second headquarters (HQ2), a diverse patchwork of foes to the bidding process have emerged. Economists, city council members, socialists, and even the Koch brothers are rallying against state and city leaders who have offered large economic incentives to the corporate giant.

Three city council members from HQ2 finalist cities released a joint statement last month, urging all lawmakers to decline authorizing these subsidies: Jared Evans from Indianapolis, Brad Lander from New York, and Greg Casar from Austin. It’s a symbolic move, but it could be the only one with teeth if Amazon were to pick one of their cities: In some, including Austin, city council serves the ultimate vote in approving local tax deals. Publicly professing an intent to vote “no,” as Casar has done, might inspire other members to follow.