Oklahoma City Council authorizes negotiations on proposed Amazon job-creation incentives
The Oklahoma City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday to authorize staff to negotiate a job-creation incentives agreement with retailer Amazon.
The proposal includes $1 million in public payments to Amazon for 53 jobs associated with a warehouse & shipping terminal.
The city would add another $700,000 in road and other improvements.
The Amazon facility will be at Will Rogers World Airport, in the airport's Lariat Landing development along S Portland Avenue.
The facility is expected to require hundreds of additional employees whose wages will be too low to qualify for incentives.
Incentives are paid from the proceeds of bonds issued by the city. Voters approved the borrowing to promote job growth in 2007 and 2017.
Ward 1 Councilman James Greiner and Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid opposed moving ahead with negotiations.
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Shadid said the deal would hurt Oklahoma City small businesses.
Greiner said he found the proposal “inequitable” when compared to lesser amounts offered to other companies.
Ward 5 Councilman David Greenwell said Amazon's facility would stimulate development in southwest Oklahoma City.
“I think the return on this investment is underestimated,” he said.
Mayor David Holt commented on the competition to attract jobs and grow local economies, saying, “It is the game that cities are forced to play.”