NEW CASTLE, Del. - Delaware officials have agreed to give $4.5 million in taxpayer money to online retail giant Amazon, which raked in $11.6 billion in profit last year.
The state Council on Development Finance voted Monday to give Amazon.com Services LLC a Delaware Strategic Fund grant for the company’s plan to establish a distribution facility on the site of a former General Motors plant that was shuttered in 2009.
A Nevada-based commercial development company that has worked with Amazon in the past has applied to build a five-story, 3.8 million-square-foot facility at the former Boxwood Road assembly plant in Newport.
Amazon said in its grant application that it plans to spend $50 million for new equipment and machinery, including $48.5 million in equity. The remaining $1.5 million will come from the strategic fund grant, which also includes $3 million “performance grant” for Amazon’s promise to create 1,000 full-time jobs over three years.
According to the application, Amazon is planning to hire 50 managers with estimated salaries of $60,000, and 950 unskilled or semiskilled “associates” who would be paid $15 or $15.86 per hour.
The grant funding was recommended by the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, a “public-private” entity incorporated by Democratic Gov. John Carney to lead Delaware’s economic development efforts, including recommending economic incentives for businesses looking to relocate or expand in Delaware.
Carney and other elected officials hold seats on the partnership’s board of directors, but it is privately run and not subject to Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act.
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