Google buys entire city blocks and nobody bats an eye. Turns out that publicly shaking down cities across the US tends to draw out the opposition.
More publicity = more scrutiny = more angry opponents of your business decision
Also, the pull-out letter also basically dumps the blame on state/local officials for not wanting Amazon, despite not all stakeholders being present at the table when discussions started.
YC Fund "Me Too" -- I think you might want to let PR and HR take a look at this before you move forward with this name.
If Amazon wanted a strong transportation system they could have demanded some of their tax break went towards that. They did not.
NYC is already the second largest tech hub in the nation, as well as a global leader in a wide variety of industries.
If anything, Amazon moving in, and this I doubt, would have made it less affordable than it already was to live here.
NYC population is 08.6M
NYS population is 19.85M
Just the city is forty percent of the population. If you add the surrounding areas, you'll be a majority (I think they'd want things done in the city). How does the city not have better representation in the state assembly? How does upstate keep getting away with swindling the city?
As James Damore recently tweeted: "Amazon abuses its near-monopoly to bankrupt its competitors by selling at a loss, threaten brands with counterfeits until they sell on Amazon, and use third-party merchants’ data to undercut them. All while being subsidized billions by the government." https://twitter.com/JamesADamore/status/1094985319575969792
Honestly, why is this so hard when so much of the rest of the developed world manages to do it so well?
New Yorkers already pay tremendous tax dollars yet we have the mass transit that we do. The idea that there are no tax dollars is a myth. The funds are simply siphoned off to some other who-knows-what, and the remaining is poorly spent. The purported Amazon tax base would have likely been spent the same.
I am not advocating for big businesses evading tax mind you. Just suggesting it would probably still be a boon for the state tax income if a bunch of tech wages migrated to the NY tax base.
I'm a nonprofit fundraising professional, and I could probably talk about all the reasons why that is a horrible idea for 2-3 hours straight without repeating myself. I mean, at the very least, it's a bad idea for the same reason that exposing all the financials of every individual, or all other organizations, with the added benefit that you'd be opening people up to harassment for supporting certain social causes or belonging to certain religious groups. You might as well start a government mailing list called "hate crime targets."
If you think there are a lot of non-charitable transactions occurring using charities as a front, it would be a way better idea to just have the IRS audit more 501c3 orgs.
If you are trying to decrease fraud, it would almost certainly make more sense to audit wealthy individuals and for-profit corporations far more often.
There is information in people's finances that should be 100% private. What if an employer looks at the financials of someone applying for a job and sees they claimed $100k in medical expenses last year because they had cancer? Companies will do that if they have the ability, and people will lose jobs because of it.
It doesn't matter if you make it illegal. I worked a recruiting agency for a while, and illegal hiring practices are incredibly common.
A good portion of all of that is stuff Amazon could compile, but they got cities across the country to donate probably tens of thousands of hours of taxpayer salaries to do it instead.
The nature of special incentives each proposal offered - custom ones for Amazon-only, or unusual ones - will also have told them which cities they've got extra leverage over if they come offering a smaller project like a distribution center.
> The most jarring incentive reportedly comes out of Chicago, which, under state law, could redirect between 50 and 100 percent of the income taxes incurred by Amazon employees right back to Amazon.
Basically the state law allows employers who create new jobs to not have to pay their portion of the employment tax for a few years, and that tax credit applies to every company.
I'm pretty happy with the way Illinois and Chicago played their cards with Amazon, we were basically like "We've got a lot of great shit, and if you come here you can take advantage of this tax credit." We didn't offer Amazon any special treatment.
Stealing the worker's surplus labor value isn't enough?
A big difference is that contrived drama is at the very core of the entertainment business of professional sports. It makes for much of the entertainment! It's less helpful in the more mundane enterprise of 'building a bunch of offices and warehouses'.
People in Long Island City calling their political representatives and yelling at them about how they don't want your offices and warehouses is not business well done if you have 'building warehouses and offices' as a goal.
First, state income tax is exactly that, income tax imposed by the state, and governed by the state. There may be local jurisdictions that impose additional income tax but any savings there would be trivial.
While sports are important to the local economy, my understanding is that they are relatively minor at the state level.
Second, LeBron (and other athletes) earn playing income in every jurisdiction they play in, not based solely on the jurisdiction that the team is based in.
This means they are responsible for filing taxes in each of these jurisdiction.
In addition to playing income, they make money through endorsements and other investments. These are considered income in whatever state they claim is their residence.
It's in a players interest to establish a residence in an area with favorable tax laws.
Cities may try to woo elite players to join them, but tax savings isn't very compelling.
That’s pretty funny how well settled that area of Law is, and yet again Amazon thinks it’s pretty special in that regard also...historically they haven’t paid those taxes either (state or local) and there was just a Supreme Court case confirming that in fact amazon isn’t special and that all this time they themselves should have been paying taxes where they had been selling/shipping goods.
That’s cute, but not the way the Law works generally. Maybe you can point to a single state where the law is different, until then I’ll just say the general rule is if the merchant makes of $x they are required by law to collect sales tax. Where or not the merchant does, they will be liable to the state for payment of the same, not the individual consumers.
If the law worked the way you represent why would any merchant collect and pay sales tax to the states?
Do you have a citation for this? I'm skeptical. I live and work in Texas. When I travel to my company's office in NJ, effectively earning income for a week in that state, I don't pay NJ income tax on that income.
Edit to add: According to my interpretation of this: https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/pdf/current/1040nr...
Assuming your income is over $20,000, you ARE required to file a NJ state tax return.
Also, note that even if you don't file a tax return, doesn't mean you are exempted from doing so.
Example, as a citizen of Texas, you are also required to pay use tax on any items aquired out of state/country and used in the state. My assumption is that you don't also pay that either, even thought you are legally required to do so. It turns out that use Tax is particularly difficult to audit and collect for, especially without a mandatory return like state income tax.
Uh, state income taxes can approach 10%. This is not “trivial”.
The original proposal was that star athletes attempt to negotiate tax incentives with cities, in the same vein Amazon did with NYC (and many other large corporations do).
City income taxes add a trivial percent to the total income tax rate when compared to the state income tax level. Thus, if you got incentives from a city, they would amount to trivial amount of savings.
Athletes would need to negotiate at the state level in order to have a material effect on their taxes.
I hope that clarifies my point.
I imagine Athletes pay accountants who are well versed in how to fill out those forms, and, at least in the NFL's case, a lot of players compensation may be in bonuses, and not necessarily game-day checks (which would be subject to local jurisdictional income laws).
As is common with other, bigger ego, basketball players
Obviously NBA rules relate to tampering would come into play, but it would be a compelling story for the 24 hour sports new cycle.
I've read about athletes at least considering the income tax of a state in their decision, but I'm not sure it's ever been a deciding factor.
Getting reelected will be an issue.
1. Basketball is entertainment, and 'The Decision' was the result of years of speculation by the fans and the media. Furthermore you see similar spectacles for such things as National Signing Day, where top recruits hold press conferences to announce what college they are attending.
2. There is animosity and jealousy towards 'entitled millionaire athletes' that was made worse with players being able to control their own destiny instead of suffering under terrible management. "If they get to choose where to work and do so with their friends, why can't I" yells Joe Six-Pack.
3. The super team. Somehow NBA fans forgot or were ignorant of how absolutely stacked championship teams had been throughout history, featuring multiple hall of fame players and coaches. Elements of #2 play into this as well where it is management, not players, that should build championship teams.
4. A player like LBJ is far, far more likely to deliver (which he did with multiple championships) in the NBA than a company like Amazon is to deliver a value worth the taxpayer dollars they absorb.
Animal cruelty? There is only a vocal minority who takes a public stance, despite this beeing a very clear cut issue in terms of public opinion. Migration is the other way round: most people don't give a fuck, but have a loud vocal base that will even hurt themselves to make a point and you will be heard.
It's not a vocal minority, it's a vocal subset of the majority.
A vocal minority is when the opponents of a popular viewpoint are louder than its proponents.
The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority
I see the same thing with the Amazon HQ. It's easy for Amazon to spin it in a positive PR direction by talking about jobs and increased revenue, but the policy case for giving in to Amazon's demand is actually weak.
They're not "ok" with the level of cruelty but in a pervasive environment of limited culinary and social choices, they're okay with living with that knowledge.
Personally, I think you get further raising better people than trying to impose a moral standard in a population that (for the most part) eats diets that hamper cognition and volition ala high sugar and ultra processed crap. Intermittent fasting and a decent diet would do much more for the quality of moral calculation of people than telling them that their entire culture is morally bad. Because we're humans who utilize different strata of values, not mere moral robots.
To paraphrase Nietzsche, the moralists and priesthoods of the world devalue the very small things which give arise to moral judgment: Diet, climate, and habit.
> Definition of proponent: one who argues in favor of something
Even if people are enabling something doesn't mean that they are proponents. Let's stop with the newspeak and use the correct words for things please.
Not everyone has the money to choose differently.
At times there is no choice. This is especially true if you are a 15 year old. At 15, you basically eat what your parents eat. You can't generally afford food. You can't always just get a job if your parents won't provide education and/or if your school decides your grades aren't up to working. Oh, and you can't work all that often due to child labor laws.
At times, the actual choice is a bad one. Take eggs, for example. When I have the choice, I choose eggs from hens with larger cages. I realize these are hardly large, but they are better than the alternative. I've only lived one place that I could buy eggs directly from the source (during summer time) - but I'm literally an ocean plus some away from that now.
People honestly need a little bit of animal proteins lest they must take supplements. (Truth: I take vitamin D, as I can't make enough at my northerly location). I'm also mostly vegetarian. I eat fish once a week and I eat eggs and cheese.
An unrelated example: polls show large supermajorities in favor of many gun control proposals (universal background checks poll at ~90%, for example). But most people who say that they want it, don't consider the opposite stance on that a deal-breaker for their vote - there are many other issues that are more important to them. On the other hand, the 10% that is opposed, is very firmly opposed, and that issue is close to the top for many of them, to the point of single issue voting. And when those people all turn up in the Republican primaries and vote as a bloc, those votes are enough to prevent candidates that displease that crowd from even getting to the general. And so you have all those party line votes, with every single Republican voting against, even though the majority of their constituents - and even the majority of their supporters - would prefer them to vote differently.
When people think animal cruelity they think beating your family dog vs the state of factory farming or organic farming.
I've been thinking a lot about trying to purchase pasture raised and sustainable meat products lately and part of that has been buying pasture raised eggs.
My last incredibly priced carton actually included a little slip inside with pictures of the hens in their pasture, and I believe even an offer to visit their farm.
Was really nice to go the other way. Instead of thinking about or ignoring the cruelty, to think about these happy hens.
But damn is it expensive!
Also, the way different accounts seem to seamlessly continue a deep and tangential discussion thread is also kind of suspicious. Almost like it’s one person who keeps switching alt accounts.
Regardless of peoples eating lifestyles it's undeniable that factory farms which produce most of the economically accessible meat are little concerned about animal welfare or the environment. The public on this matter also are least concerned about these matters related to the meat they buy off supermarket shelves, only when it's a video of a 'cute' animal being abused. It is only the minority of people in this instance that take a principled stance, if the silent majority did care we wouldn't be producing so much factory farmed meat after years of publicizing the abuse in the media.
I'm not a vegan but the way you characterize anyone who has a 'minority view' as some radical that only wants to cause problems is the attitude that allows corporations to operate it's abuse of worker standards and public funding to no one else's gain but themselves.
The discussion would have been clearer if the unambiguous term "factory farming" was used instead. The use of these ambiguous and disingenuous tactics of argumentation is reminiscent of PETA in particular. If you don't want to be characterized as a nutjob, don't act like one. That's my point.
Either someone shared with you an out-of-context link to this subthread for brigading purposes or you’re being totally disingenuous right now.
For myself (and maybe the others), your responses jumped one step beyond reasonable. Because someone used animal cruelty to describe factory farming, that poster is a hyperbolic vegan? I think the fact that you were being hyperbolic incited a few extra replies due to the... irony?
Edit: Cats are obligate carnivores and can't physically remain healthy without eating meat.
Migration meaning what? Immigration within the US? That's been a hot button topic since the first Bush nationally, and has been the source of propositions in California since the my first memories of the early 80s. Interestingly, the more the internet was adopted, the more high profile the immigration debate became, nationally. Clinton talked quite a bit (even after his presidency), Bush Jr ignored it, and so on.
Reagan passed landmark immigration liberalization in 1986.
Clinton was an immigration hawk.
GWB fought hard against his own party for immigration reform and liberalization.
That is, in itself, incorrect.
> Reagan passed landmark immigration liberalization in 1986
Yes, bringing it to the forefront, but without a way to communicate effectively, the party in power passed landmark legislation without a national consensus. Most people were unaware, until it passed and had no recourse after.
> Clinton was an immigration hawk.
I'm not sure what you believe, but that's incorrect, imo. He gave strong lip service in "securing borders" but was instrumental in toothless legislation that paved the way for the current passive acceptance alongside the tripling (ish) of the illegal immigration. The insistence that legal immigration continued to outpace illegal immigration year-over-year before and after his presidency is classic Clinton doublespeak meant to push an agenda by interpretation, which he maintained after his presidency. See his last John Stewart Daily Show appearance. Winners write the stories, so this will likely just be forgotten by the future.
> Migration is the other way round: most people don't give a fuck, but have a loud vocal base that will even hurt themselves to make a point and you will be heard.
GWB's reforms were not well supported, so the initial point I made stands, regardless of what was reported. The idea that GWB was doing anything but appealing to a wider base. What he did, was speed up deportations (ending catch and release) and stopped talking about it after his election. So you can interpret that how you will, but it certainly wasn't "fighting hard".
Besides this sniffs of the "yea build shelters everywhere but my block" attitude.
So who makes up this supposed groundswell of local opposition? People that moved in to one of those shiny new towers last week and are already looking to slam the door behind themselves?
Because the entire "competition" was a sham. Amazon was never going to park the future of the company into a place lacking talent.
> The proposal was most popular among Black and Hispanic Queens residents and least popular among White Manhattan residents
That's a good point, but the counter is that the Black and Hispanic residents are the ones who would end up pushed out by Amazon's white and asian workers.
Surprised AMZN had such a thin skin.
And after all this, they are going to move into vacant office buildings in DC near the airport, and in Nashville.
Instead they got a pretty massive backlash that adds more fuel to the already burning story about Amazon's mistreatment of workers, Amazon's 0% tax rate, Amazon lobbying defeating taxes in Seattle, etc... They have a PR problem already. They are bringing a whole lot of negative attention to themselves. They will have it worse in the future when they try to do the same sort of thing in Washington state.
They folded because staying in wasn't worth it.
No wonder Gianaris, who represents our district in the NY Senate, was such a strong opponent.
Looks like you do, because now we have - no discount, no business.
> It's not like the economic development of NYC is dependent on Amazon
Of course, losing several billions of added value and 25K jobs won't kill the economy of the size of New York. Just as shooting oneself in the foot won't kill most healthy people. But keep at it, and sooner or later there would be a surprising development that the health is not what it once was...
Not the business that was conditional on the discount.
It doesn't make a lot of sense for a city to offer incentive programs and then complain when companies attempt to use them. The city should make up its political mind about what incentive programs are available, and who qualifies for them, as part of the decision about whether to offer such programs. Programs should then be implemented neutrally, in a way that does not play favorites or pick winners and losers. Many other companies have benefited from these programs - the entire point of these programs is to achieve some kind of policy objective by being used.
The uproar in this case seems more like political brinkmanship, not any kind of sound economic policy designed to benefit the constituents of the city. These incentive programs were presumably passed in the first place to benefit constituents - that's why they're there, to attract additional investment to areas of the city that otherwise would not receive it. ("The Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP) provides a refundable business tax credit for commercial and industrial businesses relocating to designated areas of New York City and making capital improvements to their space")
If people in NYC think that these incentive programs are a bad idea, harmful, inappropriate, or whatever else, then they should direct their anger at their political representatives, and cancel those incentive programs - not direct anger at the companies who take up the offer that the city put forward.
The first is likely, the second is very unlikely. For the simple reason that Amazon would not plan such project in a market that is so hot that is able to generate tax income at the same rate as concentrated investment project of the Amazon HQ size. Surely, it won't turn into a barren wasteland, but I would not expect it to produce more in tax revenue than big development like Amazon HQ would.
When I was 16 LIC was a pretty sketchy place, but as of a few years ago when I lived there it was completely different. There is still some light industry related to food trucks and taxi cabs, but you have to walk pretty far to get to anything more significant. The only sketchy area I can think of is the Queensbridge projects but that is north of the 59th st. bridge and pretty far from the rest of the neighborhood.
A business choosing a location is a business transaction, as is city taxation choices. Both can freely choose how to woo the other.
NYC chose to lose possible decades of high paying jobs over their unwillingness to deal.
Other cities are not so fortunate, but Amazon has no interest in truly desperate cities (or even cities that are not so desperate but could use the boost, like Newark and Baltimore).
Amazon’s role is not charity. It is to be as productive as possible. NYC does have the role in being a good steward of resources for its citizens. It threw out a lot of money and job for them due to a vocal minority.
Even after reading this, I think the claim “most New Yorkers supported the project” is extremely dubious.
Amazon could have easily ignored them for all eternity if they wanted. A vocal minority can't influence a random housing development, you think they had any say over Amazon? That's a STRETCH
The opposition is because of the Massive tax breaks and other $$$ giveaways New York was going to hand over to Amazon. I don't recall Google extorting NYC for $$$ before they decided to expand....
It's not like NYC is paying Amazon to come to NYC. NYC would still make huge tax revenues from additional sales, real estate, income taxes, and corporate taxes.
Now they're turning that all away. It's such an irrational decision that if I were Amazon, it would raise a big red flag for me as well.
No need to open in a community that doesn't want your money.
"that otherwise wouldn't be paid at all"
The opposite is true, 100% of those taxes will be paid by some other business. Maybe you could make your argument about the New York City of the 1970s, but you sure as heck can not make that argument about the New York City of 2019. New York City is not starving for investment, rather, its biggest challenge nowadays is managing its fast growth. Other businesses will move into those buildings, and hire those workers, and they will pay normal taxes, which is a lot more than what Amazon offered.
And would the employees of these businesses earn on average equal to or greater than the average NYC Amazon employee?
These aren't rhetorical questions, and I don't know enough about Long Island City to have a confident guess at the answers but when evaluating whether Amazon HQ is economically a net positive, these are important to know.
Does it matter? If they earn enough to live and spend locally then isn't that good enough?
Some Amazon employee giving a developer an extra 1000 bucks a month for a luxury apartment and getting their food delivered instead of going to the store isn't exactly an amazing economic benefit.
Obviously not all 25000 employees would get an extra 1k, but the point being...these things can scale significantly when you're talking about Amazon. It's not a trivial thing for SMBs to fill the void that Amazon is leaving.
Can you explain this some more? Are you suggesting that governments establish a target figure and adjust that year's tax policy to make sure it's met?
The existence of budget deficits suggests otherwise.
They are just suggesting that the site that Amazon would have occupied will be rented by some other business. Probably, that business will not have gotten all the tax-breaks that Amazon did. Therefore, the tax collected by NYC on that space will be larger with Amazon gone.
Also, pretty crappy to get downvoted for an honest question.
That being said, businesses, like people, should have equal protection under the law. I amazon gets a sweetheart deal, every other business should too.
But mostly, it's obvious growth that looks good for politicians who can say, "look, I brought jobs!" People notice it when a high profile company arrives whereas if your local chain expands, that's not even a news story.
Much of the political aspect of economics is due to the relative visibility of various events in the media.
This is New York City. There will be other businesses—ones that don't need to be lured by special deals.
NYC was basically offering the same thing to Amazon: "hey come live in our city, we will give you a temporary tax reduction, in exchange for a TON of money over the next X years".
Overall the city wouldn't have lost money, it would have gained many billions of dollars of additional money in the future in exchange for an initial 2 billion reduction.
- Come next year, the default position is "you get a 10% rent hike by just paying the number on the lease."
- if you leave after a year, I've got price history at $4000 a month and can use that as an anchor for negotiations with the next tenant
There's nothing that says I have to start from fair market value and take a month off either. Say I call the apartment price 12/11ths of market value, but then advertise the net number and each month your great deal lets you pay only 11/11ths of FMV.
Bloomberg had something about this today - something like 45% of leases in NYC have similar concessions.
A 5 second Google search shows hundreds of results for 1 month free rent in apartment listings.
What exactly are you contributing to the discussion?
NY is a shell of what it was in 2005/2006. Yes, there are more tech firms, but the 500,000 or so jobs lost after the financial collapse in 2008 have not been made up for. I welcome Amazon bringing in well-paid positions, because as a New Yorker, I'd like the city to support a middle class, not just wealthy foreigners parking money into LLCd condos staying empty.
Much of the gentrification could be due to the free money and ZIRP policy in the US -- it is cheap to borrow and thus people, especially wealthy people/corps, borrow heavily and raise prices and rents. There is little correlation between actual income and rents in NYC because of this external booster.
Wouldn't it be better if the source of rent increases in NYC be the presence of lots of well paying jobs?
However, I think we can do better than giving massive tax breaks to megacorporations with bad records on labor relations and what has seemed to be an adversarial relationship to government and public services. I have no interest in seeing a replay of what’s happened to SF in NYC.
I think it’s important for cities to stand up for the interests of all their citizens, not just software developers and product managers (etc) in negotiations with increasingly powerful tech companies.
I believe OP is right that the month's free rent offered on an apartment is recouped by the landlord: in the form higher rents, which have become a real problem for many people born and raised in the city and which would likely only be exacerbated by Amazon's setting up shop here, especially under the conditions offered by the city.
Over the past 20 years New York has experienced an influx of wealth without commensurate investment in public services. The MTA is dying, urban blight is spreading and many of the new professional class moving here don't seem bothered by it.
Another piece of "anecdata": walking down Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg a few years back, I heard one wealthy newcomer say to another that she couldn't wait for the local pharmacy across the street from the new Duane Reade to close. Maybe this anecdote doesn't have the force of a "real data" but it may help some people on here understand why New Yorkers aren't thrilled by the prospect of a building a big Amazon campus and welcoming them with a handout.
Unlike the author of this article, I'm not averse to my city changing, but I'd like to imagine something other than the change we've been seeing...
I'm not gonna lie, I'm part of the gentrification problem over the last five years, but to be fair New York gentrified me at the same time that I helped gentrify the neighborhood. I only made about 30k a year before I moved to New York and I lived in a trailer home back then. After moving to New York I got a few different tech jobs and now I live in one of those over-priced one month free buildings.
I share my story just to say that in my perspective gentrification is a complicated system, and like you I also have a personal stake in all this. In my experience working in tech in New York has been a huge opportunity to improve my life. Amazon would have offered roughly another 25k people such an opportunity, some of them would have been newcomers, and some hopefully long term NYC residents. I can't lie, some people might not have benefited as much as others, but at least those 25k would have been able to get the same opportunity I did when I moved here.
You should also recognize that many people would be actively harmed by it, not just "not benefiting as much as others".
Whether the benefits outweigh the harm is a question I can't answer, but even if they do, it's still true that people are hurt.
None of these issues are easy or clear.
I live in that part of Seattle. It's the same part where people want to ban all cars because they never have to go anywhere that isn't walking distance, and their dog loves walking.
"One month free" is one of the oldest tricks in the NY real estate book, along with "preferential" rating.
 https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/business/technology/430953... (The estimated recoup time is 25 years, which means the plant will be obsolete before the state sees a dime of net revenue.)
That is fallacy of excluded other possibilities. Especially for a place like NYC.
I generally like AMZN, nevertheless I'm happy just on sheer principle that the bullying behavior by the 800lb gorilla didnt succeed this time.
It is exactly like a pushy customer demanding a discount on their groceries, saying: "Well, if I don't buy them you won't get any money at all!"
If you are confident you can sell enough groceries at the regular price, the economically correct decision is say "I don't need YOUR money" and laugh in their face.
Guaranteed sale is nice, but if I think I can clear out those cars pretty easily without a discount I'm gonna be a lot less inclined to do it.
And schemes like these exist in most countries out there, it's not just a US thing.
In your original example, the only reason why it would ever make sense is if the Saudi prince in question can somehow produce more wealth for the public than they'd pay in taxes. In that scenario, it's exactly the same in the end, once you balance everything - you have sold them citizenship for money.
And if they don't pledge to earn you more than you'd save, then why would you even consider such a deal?
What's irrational is not following up by banning every single deal of this type. Every single one.
The US and NYC specifically is approaching historic levels of inequality. If you want to reverse that you have to say no to giving one of the most powerful companies in the world a sweetheart tax deal. If NYC doesn't say no then who will? The scuttling of this plan doesn't reflect a lack of rationality. It reflects different priorities than you have. The more powerful Amazon gets thanks to these sweetheart deals the more leverage they will have and that can mean negative consequences for the populace.
Why even pick NYC in first place ? That place, and other 1st tier cities, are red tape hell. Amazon should have known this.
If you can get high-tech companies who are willing massively expand to create lots of GOOD JOBS without have to short $3 billion from the state budget, that might mean that the $3 billion dollars was a total waste and boondoogle....
No they aren't. They're expanding by about 7000.
If you're implying that Google got tax breaks, and no one noticed the public data confirming these tax breaks, please provide evidence of the data that has been overlooked.
Show me the public data source where I could conceivably find that out and I'll do "please provide evidence of the data that has been overlooked". Because I don't think that data source exists.
I don't think you realize how opaque tax records are in many places. You seem to be implying that there is a way for the public - or even journalists - to acquire the tax and assessment information of individual companies. Attempting to do so is considered fraud in most jurisdictions (e.g. attempting to use a FOIA request for the personal information - including tax records - of someone else or a business of which you are not an officer).
You are saying if I bought a piece of property and paid property taxes on it, that all of my business taxes would suddenly show up in the property tax records?
Here's an article discussing the topic at large (and Google is one of the beneficiaries here).
Yes, this is common. But just because it's common doesn't mean it's right or should be allowed.
But public does not like it and hence they had to put together a fake plan and waste money. Which could have otherwise gone into preventing real crimes.
More like it's a sugary pill that gives you diarrhea that also does nothing useful.
Unless it's for a football stadium.
You haven't seen the perpetual and energetic fights in my part of the nation about public funding for football (and other professional sports) stadiums. Sports businesses trying to get tax money to be spent in order to enhance their profitability is absolutely something that brings out the opposition.
So Las Vegas gave them a lot of money.
(Granted, Newark is in NJ... and the proposed tax deal was from NY. Thinking as adjacent states instead of a region bites.)
Football stadiums get subsidized because football is extraordinarily, wildly popular with most of the people that pay taxes. Those taxpayers spend massive sums of money on sports every year, across the NFL / MLB / NBA / NHL / MLS / NCAA. Those people pay most of the taxes that fund the government that then pays for the stadium subsidies.
Taxpayers love sports, love spending money on sports, and the majority of taxpayers are clearly fine with subsidizing sports at all levels. They vote with their dollars and... votes, over and over again, year after year, decade after decade, to keep supporting sports subsidization.
See: football attendance and ticket spending on NFL and college games annually, as well as sports packages for television, merchandise sales, etc.
Sports are very popular, and stadium-lovers are vocal with their representatives.
But they are an outspoken minority. The majority of tax-payers do not support subsidizing stadiums.
And stadiums will get built regardless of whether the city gives them free money, because they're profitable. So why subsidize private profits from public coffers?
Stop Padding Billionaires’ Profits by Paying for Sports Stadiums
So it's absolutely an expansion of a similar scope.
In short, yes, they would have signed a contract stating that.
That type of payday might be worth a bit of scrutiny.
That's not peanuts.
Also, if your problem is large tax breaks for corporations, the focus should be on those programs that make available the other $2.5B available, since any corporation with a similar scale project could get that. Focusing specifically on Amazon distracts from the existence of these programs and whether that existence is a good idea.
As an aside, your snarky tone detracts from your comment and hurts the discourse.
IRRATIONAL left. This investment on the part of Amazon gave way way way more to the city than it got back in subsidies.
It's kind of ridiculous. If I were Amazon, I would drop NYC in a heartbeat if they didn't appreciate that degree of investment.
The subsidies were 1.525 billion. Amazon's investment was expected to be around 2.5 billion. Only an irrational fool cannot do that math.
What is the long term effect of having government hand out money to every business that creates a hype? What is the effect of the amount of similar deals that will inevitably get hyped?
Should you play the game at all? Is it reasonable for someone to come along with this kind of deal? Is there no sense of fair play - that all corporations should be treated equally - whose logic is outside of the simple arithmetic?
The simple arithmetic that you are suggesting can potentially lead to unpleasant situations. What if the opposite were to happen? Supposed some big firm like Google decided to ask the government for money, or else they leave and sack every employee who doesn't want to go to their new location?
You could have firms queueing up to present you with new math problems.
It would generate property tax (if not abated) and income tax for the workers (both hired after the fact, and hired to complete the construction), but at what percentage of the total investment? 10-20%?
Was it highly subsidized by taxpayers like Amazon's purchase would have been?
It's not like Amazon was getting CASH to move to NYC.
If Amazon required all bids and contracts be made public AND brought in the media circus to invite scrutiny that would seem to be the most in the public interest.
The big dog and pony show was about asking for major tax benefits. They're still welcome to open a giant LIC office, they just won't get showered with a tax windfall for it. That's Amazon's decision that it wasn't worth it.
Also, "nobody bats an eye" is not right either - there are tons of protests against Google, which has been widely reported. They just didn't have a focus point like Amazon did, but if any city had a wide contingent of young socialist politicians caring about PR much more than for the jobs for the city population - the same could happen to Google too.
Unless you're Elon, then it's celebrated.
Shaking down someone for money is done by threatening them, i.e. extortion. Amazon did not threaten NYC, and therefore it is not a shakedown.
Im not sure what the point of any of this was.