Dayton: Amazon bid to be ‘restrained’

Gov. Mark Dayton put some parameters Tuesday around Minnesota’s upcoming bid for the new Amazon corporate headquarters, saying the state will be “restrained” when it comes to tax and financial incentives.

The Democratic governor stressed that Minnesota, with a vibrant economy and heralded labor force, has an attractive case to make for the e-commerce retailer’s second North American headquarters. But Dayton said any proposal must benefit the state more than Amazon.

Plus, Dayton said, the state needs to be mindful about being unfair to existing corporations with Minnesota headquarters. Target and Best Buy are at the top of the list given that they compete directly with Amazon in the retailing space.

“I think they and at least some of their 32,000 employees would look properly with askance at our taking some of their tax dollars to offer special incentives they don’t receive to lure some major competitor to their doorstep,” Dayton said.

Dayton said he spoke last week with the chief executives at Target and Best Buy to reinforce how important they are to the state and listen to concerns about tax incentives going to a rival. He said neither leader discouraged him from bidding.

“They recognize that this is an opportunity for the state,” Dayton said. “They are good corporate citizens, and they understand that we will proceed.”

Places that want a shot at Amazon’s expansion have until Oct. 19 to submit proposals. The packages are expected to be confidential.