Amazon HQ2 Proposals

Comparing Amazon HQ2 Proposals

Below are links to 27 different full-length proposals for Amazon’s HQ2 project. The hard-working reporter Adanya Lustig at MuckRockDaily submitted public information requests to as many HQ2 respondents as they were able to identify. Responses are still coming in, so there will be more to share. The proposals are fascinating, to say the least. SpokanePlanner sifted through all available proposals and discovered the following:

The strongest monetary incentives can be found in Boston’s proposal. Moreover, the Common Wealth of Massachusetts is also providing strong incentives should Amazon choose a location within the state. Taken together, there’s a lot of money on the table.

The weakest HQ2 proposal is from Gardner, MA.

The longest HQ2 proposal is from King County, WA (599 pages).

The shortest HQ2 proposal is from Golloway, NJ (3 pages).

The strangest information found in a proposal is FBI crime data for West Windsor, New Jersey.

The best presented HQ2 proposal is from Irvine, CA.

The worst presented HQ2 proposal is from Everrett, MA.

The best proposal cover goes to New Bedford, MA.

The most creative HQ2 incentive can be found in Missouri’s proposal – the creation of an Elan Musk-style “Hyperloop” between St. Louis and Kansas City.

The runner up most creative HQ2 incentive comes from Fresno, CA. They proposed no direct incentives, but the creation of a committee composed of locals and Amazon executives to steer future HQ2 tax revenue to all the right places. Kinda’ like tax increment financing but with a smart twist. No will be able to claim Fresno sold its soul for Amazon HQ2.

We can learn the most from Irvine’s proposal, which is excellent on several levels. California is like Washington in many ways because state law simply does not enable strong economic development tools. For instance, California nixed tax increment financing almost a decade ago to bail out the state budget deficit. But the information Irvine communicated, the way it is presented, and the magic of doing more with less that Irvine instilled within its proposal creates something close to a masterpiece. Irvine homed in on specific industry jargon and indicators like a heat seeking missile to demonstrate their depth of knowledge within the realm. Irvine’s bilingual approach not so subtly communicates a level of sophistication that none of the other proposals have. Thus, the primary economic development lesson learned: if you know you can’t compete from an incentives level, compete from an intellectual level.

Pay particular attention to proposals from our nation’s tech clusters — San Francisco, Seattle (King County), Boston, and Irvine. (I only wish we had Austin and Denver’s proposals to round out the comparisons). Although they are deemed best of the best from a clustering perspective, from an incentives perspective, they ain’t so special (aside from Boston).

Apples to apples comparisons of all proposals is a difficult exercise. My initial hope was to quantify total incentives from each proposal. I’m afraid, however, many proposals did not accommodate Amazon’s request for incentive modeling. Moreover, many of the “incentives” stated in many of the proposals are projects that are occurring regardless of Amazon’s HQ2 location. Thus, puffy exaggerations abound in the absence of simple quantifiable factors.


For each proposal below, you will find a quick summary as well as a link to the full proposal. Most proposals you can download directly from this website. Some proposals were too large for my humble host server to upload, however, so I linked them to the cloud. (Note, you do not need a cloud account to download a proposal. Simply X-out of the OneDrive account sign-up window to skip registration.)


Boston, MA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 218
Dedicated HQ2 Website: Yes
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: Yes
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: Yes
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: Yes

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: Yes
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


Brunswick, ME HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 37
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: Yes
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: Yes
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: No
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: Yes
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


Camden, NJ HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 199
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: Yes
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: Yes
Tax Increment Financing: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: No
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: No
Legislative Approval: Yes


Chula Vista, CA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 48
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: No
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: No
State Tax Credits: No
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: No
Legislative Approval: No


Edwardsville, IL HQ2 Proposal

The good people that put together Edwardsville’s proposal neglected to combine all the documents into a master PDF. You can, however, download the full file folder here.

Number of Pages: 100+
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: Yes

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: Yes
Tax Increment Financing: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: No
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: No
Legislative Approval: No


Everett, MA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 24
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: Yes
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: Yes

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: Yes
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


Fresno, CA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 51
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: Kinda’
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: Yes

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: No
State Tax Credits: No
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


Galloway, NJ HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 3
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: Yes
Tax Increment Financing: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: Yes

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: No
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: No
Legislative Approval: Yes


Gardner, MA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 5
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: Yes
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: Yes
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


Irvine, CA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 77
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: Yes

Local Incentives
Free Land: Yes
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: Yes
Tax Increment Financing: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: Yes

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: No
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


King County, WA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 599
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: Yes

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: Yes
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: Yes

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs No
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


Lowell, MA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 67
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: Yes

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: Yes
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: Yes
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


Lynn, MA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 48
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: Yes
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: Yes

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: Yes
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


Marlborough, MA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 73
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: Yes

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: Yes
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: Yes
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


Massachusetts HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 182
Dedicated HQ2 Website: Yes
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: Yes

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
TIF: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: Yes
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


Missouri HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 13
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: No
State Tax Credits: No
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: No
Legislative Approval: Yes


New Bedford, MA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 44
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: Yes
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: Yes

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: Yes
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


New Hampshire HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 78
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: Yes

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: Yes
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: No
State Tax Credits: No
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: Yes


Old Bridge, NJ HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 53
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: Yes

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: Yes
Tax Increment Financing: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: No
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: No
Legislative Approval: Yes


Orland Park, IL HQ2 Proposal

The good people of Orland Park submitted two documents to Amazon. Here’s a link to the file folder for download.

Number of Pages: 32
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: Yes
Tax Increment Financing: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: Yes

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: No
State Tax Credits: No
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: No
Legislative Approval: No


Portland, ME HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 79
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: Yes
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: No
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: No
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


San Francisco Area, CA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 166
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: Yes

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: Yes

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: No
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


Somerville, MA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 84
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: Yes

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: Yes
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: Yes
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


Waltham, MA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 9
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: Yes

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: No
Tax Increment Financing: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: No
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: Yes
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


Waterbury, CT HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 91
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: No

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: Yes
Tax Increment Financing: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: No
State Tax Credits: No
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No


West Windsor, NJ HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 43
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: Yes

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: Yes
Tax Increment Financing: No
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: No

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: No
Low Interest Loans: No
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: Yes


Worcester, MA HQ2 Proposal

Number of Pages: 60
Dedicated HQ2 Website: No
Geographically Dispersed Parcels: Yes

Local Incentives
Free Land: No
Tax Abatements/Exemptions: Yes
Tax Increment Financing: Yes
Passenger Rail, Subway, or Hyperloop: Yes
Airport Incentives: No
Relaxed Zoning and Permitting: Yes

State Incentives
Direct Cash from Established Programs: Yes
Low Interest Loans: Yes
State Tax Credits: Yes
State Tax Deductions/Exemptions: Yes
Legislative Approval: No