As it finalizes its bid to land a new headquarters for Amazon, the city of Sacramento is changing its policy to allow staff members to offer financial incentives to large companies interested in relocating here.
Under the previous policy, economic development staffers would generally seek City Council approval before negotiating with companies on incentives such as tax breaks. The new policy cuts out that step, but will still require City Council approval before an incentive of more than $100,000 can be finalized.
“This makes it clear not just to Amazon but to other industries and companies that are looking to relocate to Sacramento that we are willing to use reasonable and aggressive tools at our disposal,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said.
By approving the new policy on Tuesday by a unanimous vote, the City Council is allowing city staffers to offer incentives in its bid to Amazon, which is due Oct. 19. Amazon announced last month it is seeking proposals from North American cities that want to host a second headquarters for the company, and Sacramento will join a long list of cities submitting bids.
The new Job Growth and Employment Incentive Strategy allows the city to offer incentives to companies that pledge to bring more than 500 high-paying jobs to the city. Incentives could include property tax refunds, but city staff said the city’s financial benefit from a new company here would be worth more than those enticements.
“Hopefully sooner rather than later we’re going to have big announcements in this city about the use of this policy to actually land some real jobs and real industries,” the mayor said.