A Democratic state senator in the Long Island City location announced as Amazon's newest headquarters ripped Jeff Bezos' "charade" of putting the "squeeze" on state governor and NYC mayor for larger tax incentives when the location was likely locked in all along.
"There's a real question as to whether Amazon knew all along where they wanted to end up," N.Y. State Sen. Michael Gianaris told "The Cats Roundtable" on 970 AM-N.Y. "I think it's no surprise that they chose New York and Washington, D.C. This is financial capital and the governmental capital of the country.
"And that this whole thing that's been going on for a year has been a charade to see how much they could squeeze out of these various jurisdictions."
Gianaris pointed to a recent jobs expansion in New York City by Google as not requiring the reported $3 billion in tax breaks from two of the truest politically blue areas of the country.
"Google just announced that they're expanding to 20,000 jobs in New York, not that much less than the 25,000 that Amazon has promised, and they didn't get any incentives to do that – so why Amazon needs it while Google doesn't is simply a matter of bad policy and sacrificing when we don't have to sacrifice," Gianaris added to host John Catsimatidis. "If they were going to come here anyway, or come here for a lot less, then we're just losing that money.
[Dems, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio] seem to be aligned, but neither of them are aligned with the community where they're proposing that this go."
Gianaris says "people in Western Queens are not looking forward to this" and "very much against it," particularly as it relates to rents that are expected to soar and displace the people currently there – not actually employ them.
"One of the big problems I have is we're talking about $3 billion in incentives between the state and the city that are going to Amazon," Gianaris said. "Amazon is probably the last company on Earth that needs money."
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