The people of Nampa, Idaho are hoping an Amazon distribution center rumored to be coming to town becomes a reality. The boost in jobs such a facility brings is very attractive to cities like Nampa, home to a little over 80,000 souls. The Idaho Press reports that distribution centers of size rumored to be coming to Nampa normally create 700 to 900 jobs, a nice boost. While the city is welcoming of new business it also has concerns. The editors of the Press write:
The benefits are many.
The developer last week said the center could employ as many as 2,000 people. We’re a little skeptical of that figure, as we’ve seen other Amazon distribution centers of this size employ more in the range of 700 to 900. Regardless, more jobs for local residents is good for the local economy.
The location is ideal. It’s right next to Interstate 84, nestled among other factories and industrial uses and far away from houses. Vehicles coming into the center and leaving the center aren’t going to be hauling through residential areas or on two-lane farm roads.
It would generate tax revenue. Nampa economic development director Beth Ineck said the center is expected to generate more than $1 million a year in tax revenue.
Customer service. For those who use amazon.com to do a little shopping, the prospect of same-day delivery has quite a bit of appeal. It’s another sign that the Treasure Valley is coming into its own as a metropolitan center.
The concerns are also many.
Even though the location is ideal from a transportation perspective, we’re still concerned about wear and tear on the roads and whether the expected tax revenue will be able to cover the expenses that would be associated with road repair and even expansion.
Wages are also a concern for us. Whether it’s 700 jobs or 2,000 jobs, if they’re all minimum wage jobs at $7.25 an hour, we’re afraid that’s not going to be a tremendous boost to our economy.
Watch out for those tax breaks. In our rush to get an “Amazon” sign on the side of a building next to I-84 in Nampa, let’s not rush to give away the store in the form of all sorts of state and county tax breaks to bring them here. With entry-level wages, wear and tear on the roads and increased traffic, cutting back on tax revenue might not be worth it.
In the end, we welcome an Amazon distribution center for its many benefits. But we’ll be watching out for the potential problems.
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