Baltimore County tries to lure PayPal expansion

Baltimore County hopes to take advantage of PayPal's recent decision not to open an operations center with 400 employees in North Carolina after the passage of a state law widely viewed as discriminatory.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz wrote a letter last week to PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman encouraging the company to expand its existing Hunt Valley office instead.


"You keep expanding your Hunt Valley Global Operations Site in the heart of our central business corridor, and frankly, we love it," Kamenetz wrote.

Kamenetz made no mention in his April 28 letter of the controversial North Carolina law, which limits protections for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. A key provision of the bill requires transgender people to use public restrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate, rather than restrooms corresponding to their gender identity.


The county executive did refer indirectly to the law on Twitter, posting Tuesday that the county shares PayPal's "principles of respect & inclusion." He added the hashtag "#NoHateInMyState," which has been used by opponents of the North Carolina law.

In his letter to Schulman, Kamenetz pitched the county's stable tax rate and "high quality of life" for PayPal workers. He said PayPal would be able to recruit workers from the county's "large base of engineering talent" and "highly educated labor pool."

Kamenetz suggested that PayPal could expand near its existing Timonium and Hunt Valley offices, or in Owings Mills, where the Metro Centre mixed-use project is being developed.

PayPal, which employs about 1,000 workers in the county, did not respond to a request for comment.

PayPal's Baltimore County operations started as Bill Me Later, founded in 2000 by local entrepreneurs. In 2008, eBay/PayPal bought Bill Me Later for $945 million and rebranded the company as PayPal Credit. PayPal and eBay split into separate companies last year.