Minnesota's bid for Amazon HQ is very Minnesotan

The state has submitted a modest bid to the online giant.

No gimmicks, no gadgets, modest and professional, what you see is what you get. 

Minus the passive aggression, this describes the typical Minnesotan, but on Wednesday it also describes Minnesota's pitch for Amazon's second headquarters.

The state has submitted its bid to the online giant, hoping to be in the running for a development that would create 50,000 high-paying jobs and $5 billion of investment.

But unlike other bidders who have sent gifts of cacti to the Amazon offices, or filled out 1,000 5-star reviews on the retailer's website, Minnesota isn't promising the world with its offer.

Governor Mark Dayton confirmed on Tuesday that the state is not offering any subsidies such as tax breaks to Amazon at this stage. The only money likely to be available to the retailer would be the $10-$20 million worth in existing development programs.


Amazon's HQ: How it could dramatically transform the Twin Cities tech scene

Any future incentives beyond the $3 million state cap would require legislative approval, he added.

Instead, the state is pitching on what Amazon wants: access to quality higher education, with good infrastructure and good quality of life for its workers, not to mention proximity to a major airport.

"It's a very professional proposal, a business-like proposal, without the gimmicks, gadgetry or all the sensational PR stuff we were told was not going to be persuasive," Dayton said in a press conference.

"We followed professional advice from people worked with Amazon on site location decisions before, and we have a proposal we think is a very strong one."

Despite Dayton's comments, few details of Minnesota's bid have emerged, with each bidder agreeing to strict confidentiality agreements in the early stages of the process.

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development commissioner Shawntera Hardy told KSTP only that the proposal "showcases the state's talented, diverse workforce, strong schools and transportation system, and high quality of life."

Dayton said that several possible sites had been pitched to Amazon, though he could not identify where they're located.

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