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Investigation finds Amazon incentives might not be worth it to cities

SEATTLE – Cities across the country are vying to bring amazon’s second headquarters to their area, but a new investigation about the so-called ‘amazon effect’ might give them pause.

The six month investigation by the Business Journals – which includes our news partners at the Puget Sound Business Journal – found luring Amazon to a city doesn’t always pay off. Business Journal subscribers can read the story here.

According to the investigation, subsidies have helped build more than 250 fulfillment and distribution centers across the country.

But the results of those tax-payer funded investments are mixed.

"What we found in our reporting is that Amazon really plays hardball in negotiations and they use their leverage and their sway to lower wages and to get more tax incentives and to really get any concessions they can get at an incredibly fast pace," the PSBJ's Casey Coombs told Q13 News.

In some locations, like Texas and California, job creation doubled or even tripled expectations.

But at a location in Massachusetts, and in Miami,  job totals and wages fell short, with some even accusing Amazon of making misleading promises.