Former Gov. Barnes on Georgia's bid for Amazon's second headquar - CBS46 News

Former Gov. Barnes on Georgia's bid for Amazon's second headquarters

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(Source: MGN) (Source: MGN)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Billions of dollars are at stake and on Thursday, cities are clamoring to get their bids in by the midnight deadline for Amazon's second headquarters.

Dallas is going folksy as part of its pitch, Colorado is methodical with its status updates and Philadelphia is telling Amazon it delivers with its hashtag.

Georgia refuses to dish on the details of what it's offering, but former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes says that's strategy.

"The governor's office isn't talking," says Barnes. "The Officer of Economic Developments isn't revealing details. Does this sound shady to you? No, it does not. In fact, it's pretty common in a deal this big. A deal like that even has a code name."

Barnes says that's usually imposed by the company. He says when he was governor and Amazon was mainly a bookseller, the state lured the online retailer to the McDonough area and he says the key is not what you may think. 

"Everybody think it's tax incentives, but tax incentives, though they are part of the equation, they only come in as a last resort, " says Barnes.

The No. 1 thing is what is showcased in the Atlanta marketing video -- talent.

"The first thing in an economic development deal that is asked is, tell me about whether I'm going to be able to draw skilled workers that I need in this location. And they'll ask you things like graduation rates, skills," says Barnes.

Former mayor Sam Massell, who now heads up the Buckhead Coalition, says he contacted Amazon, telling the online giant about Buckhead's development -- 16,000 multi-family rental apartments in various stages of developments.

Barnes says once we found out if we won or not, the state should reveal the details of the bid. The decision won't be made until next year.

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