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Newark has made the first cut to be home to Amazon’s second headquarters.

The company announced this morning that after receiving 238 proposals in November, it had narrowed the search down to 20 locations, including New Jersey’s largest city. Newark now will compete with the likes of New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. for the $5 billion investment and 50,000 jobs associated with the project.

Amazon said it will work with each of the candidate locations to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate the company’s hiring plans as well as benefit its employees and the local community. A decision is expected this year.

“Amazon’s announcement that Newark is among the finalists for ‘HQ2’ proves New Jersey’s amazing strengths and potential to once again be a global driver of technology and innovation,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “While today certainly is good news, our work is not done. We are going to continue to press our case for Amazon to come to Newark.”

As the 217th legislative session came to a close, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and then Speaker Vincent Prieto guided passage of bipartisan legislation authorizing state tax incentives to draw Amazon’s second headquarters.  Amazon would have to create 30,000 full-time jobs and make $3 billion in capital investments in order to qualify for the state tax incentives.

In one of his last actions before leaving office, Former Gov. Chris Christie signed the legislation in one of his last actions before leaving office. “Nobody in any other state wants Amazon’s HQ2 more than New Jersey and the City of Newark,” Christie proclaimed.

The incentives include:

  • a merit-based state tax incentive that could reach $5 billion over 20 years, with the creation of 50,000 new jobs;
  • a city property tax abatement that could be worth $1 billion; and
  • a city wage tax waiver that would allow Amazon HQ2 employees to keep an estimated $1 billion of their hard-earned money over 20 years.

“Thank you to all 238 communities that submitted proposals. Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” said Holly Sullivan, Amazon Public Policy. Read full statement here.