Dayton discusses effort to bring Amazon HQ to Minnesota

Efforts to bring Amazon's second headquarters to Minnesota are kicking into high gear.

Governor Mark Dayton met with the agencies spearheading the effort Friday with just three weeks until bids are due. Dayton discussed plans with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and the group Greater MSP. The new headquarters would bring 50,000 jobs to the area.

“We'll present what we have, what we know we have, what we know we can offer,” said Dayton. “The best thing we can offer is we have tremendous people, tremendous workforce, we have an excellent higher education community. They said they want to be close to an international airport.”

But one thing Dayton is still reluctant to offer is massive state tax breaks for Amazon.

“In terms of state tax breaks, I think 34,000 employees for Target and Best Buy in Minnesota and their tax dollars shouldn't be used to subsidize one of their prime competitors from coming in,” said Dayton.

He did say his stance doesn't preclude local governments from offering tax breaks of their own.

Two possible sites the groups are rumored to be considering for the new headquarters are the Old West Publishing site and surrounding land in downtown St. Paul and the Upper Harbor Terminal in Minneapolis near I-94 north of downtown.

DEED declined to confirm the sites being considered, but its commissioner said in a statement to Fox 9, "We were all very impressed with the work done by local governments in getting this work complete on time. Our next steps will be to connect with communities and begin to prepare the proposal."

The final package to Amazon could contain multiple sites in the region. The governor is confident that the Twin Cities metro measures up well to the other regions that meet Amazon's criteria.

“We have a lot to offer in terms of our resources and people and I think we'll have a very strong case to make.”

The final bid is due October 19.