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Thursday, December 12, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Amazon received HQ2 submission from Idaho; Otter just asked them to ‘save us for later in your cart!’

When the news came out earlier this week that cities in all but seven states had submitted bids for Amazon’s “HQ2” second headquarters location – and Idaho wasn’t listed among the seven – it was a puzzler. After all, no place in Idaho meets Amazon’s minimum requirements for the bid, starting with a city of 1 million population. But it turns out that Idaho sent in a submission anyway – including a letter from Gov. Butch Otter and a pitch from the Boise Valley Economic Partnership. Otter asked Amazon to consider Idaho for other projects, “after the dust settles” on HQ2.

“So in other words, save us for later in your cart!” the governor wrote.

You can read Otter’s full letter here. Clark Krause, executive director of BVEP, refused a request from the Idaho Statesman to release its Amazon submission, but told KTVB-TV, “Anytime you can talk to a great company like Amazon, I think you've got to take that opportunity.”

Otter’s letter is brief, conceding that Amazon likely will pick another location for its HQ2, but touting Idaho’s advantages anyway. “We also understand that Idaho’s many sterling qualities do not quite fit this particular site need,” he wrote. “Having said that, Idaho is recognized for its favorable business climate, stable tax rates, reasonable regulations, low-cost renewable energy and affordable land. We have a skilled, motivated workforce and state policies that recognize the importance of economic activity to our Idaho way of life. We balance our budget without raising taxes and we now that the best way to help business is to simply get out of the way.”

Amazon announced that it received 238 proposals from cities and regions in 54 states, provinces, districts and territories across North America. The Seattle-based online retailer said it plans to invest more than $5 billion in construction for its HQ2 and eventually add up to 50,000 high-paying jobs.

The seven states that didn’t submit were Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming; all lacked a city of 1 million population. Alaska and Delaware submitted bids even though their total state populations are below 1 million.

Krause told KTVB, "If you look at what Amazon is doing across the country, I think it's just a matter of time that we'll be considered for some of the Amazon distribution centers, hopefully some regional offices."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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