October 17, 2018
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Mainers among the least welcoming to new Amazon headquarters, poll says

Reed Saxon | AP
Reed Saxon | AP
This Sept. 6, 2012, file photo shows the Amazon logo in Santa Monica, Calif.


Nearly seven out of 10 Mainers would be happy to see Amazon build its new $5 billion headquarters in or near their home community, a recent poll found.

But that’s actually among the lowest levels of support in the country, where a Morning Consult survey found that Maine was one of only six states where fewer than 70 percent of the respondents said they would welcome the online retail giant’s ballyhooed new facility.

According to Morning Consult, 68 percent of Mainers polled said they support having Amazon set up its new headquarters in their home city. Only Vermont and Hawaii had lower percentages in the survey.

Two Maine towns — Brunswick and Scarborough — are among the 238 communities across North America to submit bids for the facility, which Amazon says could employ as many as 50,000 people.

Amazon is reportedly seeking tax breaks and financial incentives in its search for a new home, as well as a population base greater than a million people and access to an international airport, among other criteria.

While the population and job numbers have grown in the Seattle area in the two-plus decades since Amazon built its first headquarters there, some analysts warned that the massive employer will also likely drive up housing prices, costs of living, traffic and income inequality in whichever community it picks for its second base of operations.

“At first blush, it seems very much like the thing that cities are all hoping for: a big job creator and high-quality jobs,” Stacy Mitchell, co-director of advocacy group the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, told Morning Consult. “[But] for most people who live in this city, this is going to be more of a burden than a benefit.”

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