With an economic recession predicted for the summer of 2023, the Virginia Department of Economic Development (VDEP) is set to gift Amazon, Inc. a whopping $152 million as part of a package negotiated by former Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D).

Madison Hirneisen explains the deal over at Virginia Star:

Under the project deal, state officials are expected to pay the company $22,000 per full-time, qualifying job with an average salary of $156k, resulting in the $152 million payment Amazon is requesting in the grant application, Lightly wrote in an email to The Center Square. According to Lightly, the company submitted its application for incentives March 31.

“Our partnership agreement with the commonwealth is based on our long-term commitment to create tens of thousands of jobs and a community-oriented development in Arlington that spurs economic vibrancy and benefits the entire region,” Holly Sullivan, Amazon’s vice president of Worldwide Economic Development, said in a statement.

Amazon’s HQ2 is a $2.5 billion investment that is expected to develop 2.8 million square feet of office space across three 22-story buildings. The complex will include “The Helix,” a building shaped like a double helix that will feature outdoor walkable paths with plants and trees.

While VDEP is not bound to award the tech conglomerate, a move to scale back the multi-million dollar gift would undoubtedly freeze Amazon’s plans to build its second headquarters at Crystal City.

After a whirlwind hiring binge, Amazon has cut 27,000 employees from its payroll since the pandemic and has paused construction at its Crystal City location, though Amazon states that such moves are unrelated.

While not surprised at the ask, many Virginia Republicans are concerned about such a massive payoff to Amazon as part of a deal negotiated by the Northam administration to bring jobs to the DC Beltway while the rural parts of Virginia suffer from an overall lack of economic investment — public or private.

The fact that VDEP funds would come at taxpayer expense to help fuel districts and localities which swing left raises questions as to whether Virginia should be asking rural Virginians to subsidize parts of the state already flush with resources and revenue.

The $152 million gift would not have to be fulfilled until 2026.