Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Preckwinkle supports *** Pritzker calls Amazon after company balks at NYC
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*** UPDATED x1 - Preckwinkle supports *** Pritzker calls Amazon after company balks at NYC

Friday, Feb 8, 2019

* Greg Hinz

Chicago and Illinois may be getting back into the race to attract Amazon’s prized HQ2—at least the half that was supposed to go to New York City.

A source close to Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he already has been on the phone to the company in light of a story earlier today in the Washington Post that the company is reconsidering locating half of its second headquarters in New York City, where a proposed location in the Long Island City section of Queens has drawn intense local opposition.

“Gov. Pritzker immediately called Amazon earlier this morning to make a full-throated pitch to attract these good-paying jobs to Illinois and assure them that they would have a strong partner in the governor’s office,” said a high-ranking administration source, speaking on background.


*** UPDATE *** Press release…

Mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle supports Governor JB Pritzker’s efforts encouraging Amazon to reconsider Chicago including South Side locations for its HQ2 site.

“Chicago was initially considered for Amazon’s new headquarters and the economic opportunity is certainly welcome here,” said Toni, who was a part of the original Amazon pitch team last year. “Structured in the right way, this type of development would bring tens of thousands of good-paying jobs to the South Side and provide an influx of new economic activity into some of Chicago’s most disinvested neighborhoods.”

The HQ2 would bring an estimated 25,000 jobs to the City. Recently, Toni has pushed her plan to implement a $15 minimum wage in Chicago by 2021, which attracts the workforce needed for this kind of high-paying employer.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - phocion - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:00 pm:

    Don’t give away the store, Governor. Subsidizing the richest man on the planet doesn’t seem very “progressive” to a lot of folks.

  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:00 pm:

    Always call. Just don’t promise the moon like Wisconsin.

  3. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    Git r dun, JB.

  4. - Philo - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    Not worth it given the corporate welfare required. Also, it’s clear that the support of the Governor is irrelevant, since Cuomo is an ally in the NYC deal.

  5. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    Be nice if they came because of what we have rather than what we give them. On the other hand if they move fast Burke could get them a great real estate tax break

  6. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    I would guess that Amazon’s next choice would be to see if Newark was willing to offer sufficient incentives to be in the nation’s largest metropolitan economy. That said, this is the governor doing the governor’s job.

  7. - Perrid - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    New York is balking because it’s a bad deal, so we are trying to get in on it?
    Just don’t promise too much JB.

  8. - @misterjayem - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:08 pm:


    Until the next mayor is elected, I don’t know what to think.

    And I imagine Amazon doesn’t either.

    – MrJM

  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:08 pm:

    Surprised they (governor’s office on background) wanted it out there that they are cold call pushing hard right now.

    Sure, there’s nothing to lose, but why make it seem they (this administration) got rebuffed too if we in Illinois don’t get it?

    “We’ve reiterated our interests as a state, and here if they have any questions we, this administration, can answer now.”

    Sounds a *tad* desperate, not a “Johnny On The Spot” go-getter.

  10. - proudstatetrooper - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:09 pm:

    You Go Guv.

  11. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:09 pm:

    I thought after we buried the Amazon zombie, we would be good and safe but nooo.
    Here it is, alive again and ready to eat our brains.
    The people of Queens objected to zombies eating their brains.

    Lucky us.

  12. - DuPage Bard - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    This may become a question the next few weeks for the mayoral race?
    Good on Pritzker at least get in the game.

  13. - Iggy - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    hopefully he can sell Chicago better than he can sell Blago on getting him an appointment.

  14. - Roadrager - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:12 pm:

    Somebody should call an Uber for JB and send him up 94 to have a gander at what billions in taxpayer incentives got the good people of Wisconsin from Foxconn.

  15. - Simple Simon - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:15 pm:

    Offer the JRTC. Not everyone can offer them a pre-built building of architectural significance at a transportation hub, which their millennial IT staff would want.

    Not snark. Only $220M worth of incentives, as opposed to billions.

  16. - anon - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:15 pm:

    We are already dealing with many externalities (diesel pollution from semis and crumbling roads) with existing amazon warehouses in Illinois. Also, this news out of Joliet was troubling and heartbreaking:

  17. - Skeptic - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:16 pm:

    “billions in taxpayer incentives”
    Where does it say that?

  18. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:20 pm:


  19. - MG85 - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:21 pm:

    That’s fine.

    His next calls should be to every surrounding Governor and get them all to agree not to give away the farm, and let’s work regionally to attract Amazon without sticking our taxpayers with the bill.

    Maybe make a deal with other Governors that they all share the burden and benefit of an HQ2 in Chicago.

  20. - Ginhouse Tommy - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:22 pm:

    Let the buyer beware. If NYC is rejecting it because it’s a bad deal I’d wait. remember Jeff Bezos said 2 days after the announcement on NYC that he could see Amazon going bankrupt and closing in the future. Go figure.

  21. - Pyrman - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:24 pm:

    I think it is great that the Gov is being proactive and transparent, you gotta be in the game before you can play

  22. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:27 pm:

    As long as they plan on being good neighbors, including paying workers a living wage.

  23. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    The average salary for the jobs is supposed to be around $100,000. Sounds like very good pay.

  24. - Actual Red - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:33 pm:

    I don’t want an influx of wealthy white collar workers and luxury developments that increases the already rapid pace of displacement and gentrification.

    If we get more robust affordable housing policies, including rent control, if we can tax the new workers properly, and if we don’t give the richest man in history a huge subsidy at the expense of all us regular people, then maaaaaybe this would be a good idea.

  25. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:35 pm:

    Chicago is the most affordable big city in the US with large parts of the city that are very affordable. Not much to be worried about.

  26. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    ===Somebody should call an Uber for JB and send him up 94 to have a gander at what billions in taxpayer incentives got the good people of Wisconsin from Foxconn.===

    1. Amazon is not Foxconn. Amazon is a company that caters to Americans and provides many thousands of American jobs. 2. We are talking about a headquarters of one of the most recognizable American businesses, not a factory from a company with a history of backing out on its deals. 3. A billion or two in tax incentives in exchange for a massive amount of economic activity sounds fine to me. It will be made up on the back end.

  27. - Responsa - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    It’s an ugly political mess in NY. Looks like Virginia or Nashville would be the likely benefactors if Amazon drops the NY plan, though.

    “I would not want to be a Democratic senator coming back to my district to try to explain why we lost it,” the governor said.

    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) crowed over the Post report, calling it a win for grassroots activism.

    “Can everyday people come together and effectively organize against creeping overreach of one of the world’s biggest corporations?” the junior congresswoman wrote. “Yes, they can.”

  28. - Arsenal - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    I appreciate having a Governor that trolls the other states rather than one encouraging the other states to troll us.

    But I don’t want the state to commit too much to Amazon.

  29. - Terry Salad - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    JB should definitely call. The way Amazon conducted this “search” was rather disingenuous and I don’t fault AOC for any resistance to it. Of course, it wasn’t as bad as Foxconn, either. Chicago has a lot to offer Amazon in terms of transportation, educated workforce, and housing. Amazon would do well to chose Chicago even without a load of perks and handouts (of course, there will be some).

  30. - ike - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    Bezos just wants to get Amazon out of New York becuase the national enquirer keeps airing his dirty laundry. /s

  31. - West Sider - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 3:01 pm:

    The Last Guy couldn’t find his rear end with a flashlight- JB saw an Opportunity. Good on ‘im.

  32. - RNUG - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 3:08 pm:

    Never hurts to ask. Now that NYC is off the list, there may be some leverage on the states’ side to reduce requested incentives. Just so we don’t give away the store. If you do make a deal, get specific benchmarks defined, and serious penalty clauses if the benchmarks are missed.

  33. - Roadrager - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    ==A billion or two in tax incentives in exchange for a massive amount of economic activity sounds fine to me. It will be made up on the back end.==

    You must have missed the part where Chicago’s HQ2 proposal called for taking the tax money deducted from Amazon workers’ paychecks and funneling it back to the company. Rahm wanted to take the front end and the back end and make an ouroboros.

  34. - Blue Dog Dem - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    Just curious. I don’t shop on line because I hate filing ST-44’s. In light of state and local revenue needs, I wonder how many people clamoring for more income, take the time to send in their fair share.

  35. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 3:37 pm:

    The Illinois and Chicago incentives originally discussed were quite modest compared to most other bidders.

  36. - JoanP - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 3:58 pm:

    =If NYC is rejecting it because it’s a bad deal=

    =New York is balking because it’s a bad deal=

    But that’s not what’s happening.

    Cuomo is still pushing it. So is De Blasio.

    But the State Senate Majority Leader named an opponent of the plan to a board that would have to approve it. (Cuomo has to okay the appointment.)

    And local pols, like Ocasio-Cortez, are opposing it because a lot of their constituents don’t like the plan.

    So nothing is resolved, and, according to WAPO, it’s Amazon that is considering pulling out of the deal because it’s so unsettled.

    =Now that NYC is off the list=

    It’s not, though. Again, the WAPO report says they are reconsidering. It’s not a done “undeal”.

  37. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 3:58 pm:

    “Just curious. I don’t shop on line because I hate filing ST-44’s. In light of state and local revenue needs, I wonder how many people clamoring for more income, take the time to send in their fair share.”

    I shop online all the time. What’s an ST-44?

  38. - Responsa - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    BDD– Just so you know, all online Amazon purchases that are to be delivered in IL automatically figure the appropriate tax and append it to the receipt and apply it to the credit card charge. So no additional self- reporting via ST-44 is required.

  39. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    Call, but don’t give away the store…

  40. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 4:14 pm:

    ==What’s an ST -44==
    I don’t know either. Amazon and EBay and others now deduct IL state sales taxes so you don’t need to put them on the IL 1040 Step 7 line 21 Use Tax. It’s been that way for a few years.

  41. - Blue Dog Dem - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 4:17 pm:

    Good to know.

  42. - very old soil - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 4:23 pm:

    I believe that Amazon collects the sales tax on items sold by Amazon. Yesterday I ordered a cd sold by xxx music and “fulfilled by Amazon”. No sales tax was charged

  43. - RNUG - Friday, Feb 8, 19 @ 4:32 pm:

    == I don’t shop on line because I hate filing ST-44’s. ==

    As an individual, you can skip the ST-44’s and just use the table associated with line 21 that is a small percentage of Federal AGI. You may end up paying a bit more than if you filled out all the forms, but it probably isn’t worth the extra paperwork for most people.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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