Interesting... this just made me think of something....
I have lived most of my life in rural to very rural areas. One was a small community of 10,000 people and five stoplights that was the largest town in a county that took 1 1/2 hours to drive across. This town had very few stores and if you wanted to do any kind of shopping you had to spend three hours in the car to shop in a small city in the next state. Most people went there just to buy groceries. The small businesses in this town were some of Amazon's first casualties. The internet sucks the money out of these types of towns and deposits very little.
Maybe every sleepy little town should start an internet tax to reclaim a small percentage of the money flowing out to the internet giants?
And before Amazon its been Walmart that has made life brutal for small business operators and has certainly been a death knell to the vitality of small towns and their centers.
BUT DON't DESPAIR. I know someone who can solve these issues and is DYING to get back into the fray. Hey Iamlost. Open a retail operation in a small town. You'll LOVE IT!!!!
Now on an entirely different matter Amazon is searching for a second corporate headquarters and has started an immense North American urban beauty pageant for its second corporate headquarters.
As per Amazon's own words, benefits and tax breaks offered will be part of the choice. Talk about all these manufacturers or sports venues that suck out tax money. This huge proposed new location may well top all previous requests and financings for a private endeavor. Probably top them all by a lot.
In a past life what I probably did the most as a commercial real estate agent was work as a "tenant broker". A tenant broker ostensibly scours all opportunities for relocation or staying put in a market, presents all the opportunities to the business and then engages in a search with the tenant to narrow down possibilities but also set up a "bidding" process to force landlords to lower their bids. Most of the time I did this during soft market conditions meaning lots and lots of excess space and lots of opportunities to get landlords to drop prices, increase concessions, etc. I sorta enjoyed it. In soft market conditions you can drive down prices a lot.
This Amazon search is the Mother of All Tenant Space Searches. Its going to be ferocious down in the pits as they narrow this list to several cities/urban areas. The cities/urban areas are going to recruit the larger states/provinces to help them give up a lot of tax goodies. As a former practitioner of this process I'd certainly like to be a fly on the wall listening in on all the negotiations. OTOH: Will the tax payers/residents, urban area that gets Amazon win in the long run???? I don't know. But I'm skeptical that the body politic will be big winners. Certain "players" will be big winners, but the region and the "body politic" I don't know.