Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

AOC and Ilhan Omar want to block Biden’s former chief of staff

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are boosting a petition against Joe Biden nominating his former chief of staff to a new role in his administration, calling Bruce Reed a "deficit hawk” and criticizing his past support for Social Security and Medicare cuts.

Why it matters: Progressives are mounting their pressure campaign after the president-elect did not include any of their favored candidates in his first slate of Cabinet nominees, and they are serious about installing some of their allies, blocking anyone who doesn't pass their smell test — and making noise if they are not heard.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Butterball CEO Jay Jandrain talks turkey

Butterball estimates that it sells one out of every three Thanksgiving turkeys, but knows that this year's celebrations will be different than years past.

Axios Re:Cap talks with the turkey giant's CEO Jay Jandrain about what people are buying, what they're asking the "Turkey Talkline" and what the pandemic has meant for his business.

Biden introduces top national security team

President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Tuesday at an event introducing the incoming administration's top national security officials, where he told the story of his stepfather being the only one of 900 children at his school in Poland to survive the Holocaust.

What they're saying: "At the end of the war, he made a break from a death march into the woods in Bavaria. From his hiding place, he heard a deep rumbling sound. It was a tank. But instead of the iron cross, he saw painted on its side a five pointed white star," Blinken said.