Children play in a fountain in Silver Spring, Md., north of Washington, D.C.
The impact of Amazon coming to town could hit $17 billion in economic benefit per year for Maryland, according to a new study touted Wednesday by the state — one of three potential “HQ2” options around Washington, D.C.
It’s an optimistic calculation for a local economy that could please any of advocates for the 20 locations still in the hunt for the satellite headquarters that will supplement Amazon’s AMZN, +0.03% home base in Seattle. The $17 billion projection greatly leverages the $5 billion that Amazon said it would chip in for the project, which it believes will ultimately create 50,000 new high-paying jobs.
The estimated $17 billion includes $7.7 billion in new wages for the state to add to its tax rolls, plus 101,000 new jobs once the company’s new headquarters is fully established, according to the Maryland study.
“Amazon’s HQ2 is the greatest economic development opportunity in a generation, and this study confirms just how transformative this project could be for Maryland,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement.
Other analysts have stressed that the fast growth that could accompany HQ2 can hurt the diversity of a local economy, particularly if expensive taxpayer-funded incentives are a key driver behind a bid and if real estate prices skyrocket. Since Amazon solidified its presence in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood seven years ago, home prices in the city have jumped by 83% and rents by 47%, according to online real estate marketplace Zillow. That’s good for sellers, but challenging for modest-income and younger buyers.
Read: This city saw the biggest home price growth in 2017 — and it’s NOT on the West Coast
According to the Sage Policy Group study, the new jobs would add $280 million in additional tax revenue every year for Montgomery County, while the state would receive $483 million in new tax revenue.
Read: The live-work-play HQs that Amazon — and even McDonald’s — embrace could prove pivotal to their growth
The study also projects the creation of 101,000 new jobs as it assumes that the headquarters would provide secondary benefits not included in Amazon’s initial hiring plan. This might include increased restaurant spending by construction workers in the area and Amazon employees spending their wages locally.
The report also measures the impact of the headquarters’ construction, which could bring 50,000 jobs and $3 billion in wages on its own. Additionally, it would mean $7.4 billion in other business-related sales in the state. Taken on its own, this phase of HQ2 would add a one-time tax revenue bonus of $110 million for the county, and almost $190 million for the state, the study found.
State officials also claim securing HQ2 will have “spin-off benefits” for Maryland, including an increase in entrepreneurship in the state, more trade activity in the port of Baltimore and more international travel through BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.
Montgomery County is one of three Washington, D.C.-area spots under consideration. The other two are Northern Virginia and D.C. itself, home to the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post.