Cities race to the Amazon HQ2 finish line with various strategies

Thursday marks the deadline for St. Louis, Kansas City and dozens of other metro areas to stake their claim in the gold rush of 2017 — submitting bids for Amazon’s second headquarters.

Some contenders are rolling out big-dollar incentives, such as the nearly $7 billion in tax breaks offered by New Jersey to support Newark’s bid.

Others have launched attention-getting gimmicks to set themselves apart, but Kenneth Thomas, a professor of political economy at the University of Missouri-St. Louis who studies investment incentives, predicts they won’t work.

“Those stunts aren’t going to have any impact at all,” he said. “It’s going to come down to what cities have the economic factors Amazon expects to need.”

Missouri officials are expected to announce on Thursday what role the state would play with incentives that could cover either the St. Louis or Kansas City areas.

Thomas, the UMSL professor, said he believed the St. Louis area and most of the competing cities don’t have a very good chance of winning.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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