Newark has formalized $1 billion in payroll tax exemptions aimed at attracting Amazon's second headquarters to the city.
Newark City Council approved legislation offering those incentives Wednesday, part of a reported $2 billion in potential incentives floated by the city in its proposal to the online retailer. And to sweeten the deal, New Jersey is on record as offering an additional $5 billion in state tax incentives to attract the company.
Amazon is eyeing Newark as one of 20 finalists for its HQ2 project. The ordinance approved by the council waives waive a 1 percent payroll tax entirely for Amazon employees who live in Newark and by 50 percent for other employees.
The council is also considering a long-term tax abatement for companies that create at least 30,000 new jobs and create investments of at least $3 billion over a 20-year-period.
Amazon’s investment spells as many as 50,000 new jobs and an investment of up to $5 billion for whatever city it chooses.
Mayor Ras Baraka praised the council vote, which he said “brought Newark a giant step closer to being Amazon’s choice for HQ2.”
“I am proud to stand by the strong leadership of Mayor Baraka and all who are speaking in a clear and unified voice that Newark is ready to lead and win the Amazon bid,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “Let there be no doubt -- we are all in this together, and Newark will continue to rise as one.”