The incentives Amazon.com Inc. received to build facilities in Shakopee represent a small portion of those it collected around the country during the past two years, according to data by a group critical of corporate giveaways.
Since January 2015, Amazon has received at least $241 million in subsidies in the form of property tax abatements, TIF districts, infrastructure improvements and other incentives as it launched sortation and fulfillment centers nationwide, a group called Good Jobs First said in a report published Tuesday.
The Washington-based group frequently criticizes the practice of businesses seeking government incentives and, in the process, creating competition between states and local governments. In the Amazon report, the group urged local governments not to make deals with Seattle-based online retailer and web services firm.
Amazon's Shakopee center ranked as the 11th-most subsidized Amazon facility in the last two years with close to $5.8 million being offered in the form of a TIF district to pay for road improvements around a new distribution center.
"Public officials must recognize their communities' value," Good Jobs First wrote in its report. "They need to recognize that the prize on the bargaining table isn't an Amazon facility: it's more access to the local market for another aggressive retailer growing at the expense of existing retailers."
In a statement in response to the report, Amazon didn't address the specific conclusions and instead touted contributions to places where it operates.
"Whether it's through the direct creation of great jobs at our fulfillment centers that pay 30 percent higher than traditional retail jobs, supporting local businesses near our sites, or creating hundreds of thousands of additional jobs through our investments across the country, we're focused on supporting the prosperity of the communities where our employees live and work," the company said.
The 820,000-square-foot facility that opened in Shakopee in August is Amazon's only fulfillment center in Minnesota. It also has a small sorting center in Shakopee and offices in Minneapolis. Last week, the company announced it wanted to hire an additional 1,000 full-time workers, growing its staff to a possible 2,500, more than twice the number of jobs it originally planned in Shakopee.
Originally $3.3 million was tagged to go to Amazon in the TIF package and the rest slated for road improvements but that number was reduced to $1 million before Amazon ultimately decided last year to forgo direct tax incentives after there had been some local criticism.
A representative from the city of Shakopee was not immediately available for comment.
Good Jobs First said some of the largest subsidies for Amazon this year and last were in Kenosha, Wis., where it got $21.8 million in TIF subsidies for a facility and $10.3 million in state enterprise zone tax credits.
Local and state governments routinely provide similar incentives to build shopping malls and other retail facilities that compete with Amazon's delivery system.