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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Officials in Arlington County, Virginia Tuesday laid out details of the deal that will give Amazon incentives to bring its headquarters expansion to the Washington, D.C. suburb.

Why it matters: A vote by the Arlington County Board on the draft deal approaches amid mounting scrutiny of financial incentives promised for corporate expansions. A political backlash to Amazon's planned office in New York — announced as a pair with Virginia's — already caused the company to back out.

The bottom line: The deal includes the expected estimated $23 million in financial incentives — and seems unlikely to quell activist fears that the county is making huge concessions to Amazon, while getting little in return.

Details: The agreement is between Amazon, Arlington County and the county's economic development organization. The bulk of the incentives for the project are coming from the state of Virginia, and have already been approved.

The draft deal, first reported by the Washington Post, includes:

  • A system by which Amazon will receive a portion of any increase in a tax on travelers in hotels or other lodging for 15 years.
  • To receive the benefit, Amazon has to occupy a certain square footage of office space, with the target increasing each year until 2035.
  • The deal also includes a confidentiality clause that gives Amazon advance notice of public records requests.

Yes, but: The agreement gives no indication that the county will insist Amazon meet demands from critics, like dictating conditions for construction workers on the project or abandoning the work it does for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

  • "I would have liked the board to have gotten some commitments from Amazon, and it’s shocking that they get nothing from Amazon," said Roshan Abraham, a member of the steering committee of progressive group Our Revolution Arlington. "This is very much a one-way deal where all Amazon has to do is show up."
  • Amazon declined to comment.

The chairman of the Arlington County Board told the Post that the body could still push the company to make concessions — but not in the incentives agreement. (There are also limitations on what the county government can mandate here, he said.)

What's next: The board is expected to vote on the proposal on March 16.

Go deeper: Read the draft agreement

Go deeper

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks

Photo: Filip Filipovic/Getty Images

People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can take fewer precautions in certain situations, including socializing indoors without masks when in the company of low-risk or other vaccinated individuals, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Monday.

Why it matters: The report cites early evidence that suggests vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection, and are potentially less likely to transmit the virus to other people. At the time of its publication, the CDC said the guidance would apply to about 10% of Americans.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
42 mins ago - Economy & Business

Ripple CEO calls for clearer crypto regulations following SEC lawsuit

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by the SEC, it would put the U.S. cryptocurrency industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Why it matters: Garlinghouse's comments may seem self-serving, but his call for clearer crypto rules is consistent with longstanding entreaties from other industry players.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt will not seek re-election in 2022

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), widely seen as a member of the Republican establishment in Congress, will not run for re-election in 2022, he announced on Twitter Monday.

Why it matters: The 71-year-old senator is the No. 4-ranking Republican in the Senate, and the fifth GOP senator to announce he will not run for re-election in 2022 as the party faces questions about its post-Trump future.