November 13, 2018

"Amazon Is Getting $1.5 Billion to Come to Queens."

The NYT questions whether it's worth it for New York to hand the big corporation all that money.
“Either you are creating jobs or you are losing jobs,” said [Governor Andrew] Cuomo. “This is a competition.”

Added [Mayor Bill] de Blasio, “We had an unprecedented opportunity to add to the number of jobs.”c....

But as the details emerge, many expressed anger that the costs — in crowded subways, rising home prices, strained sewers and actual state and city tax dollars — could far outweigh the benefits of possibly 25,000 new workers making an average of $100,000.

“We’ve been getting calls and outreach from Queens residents all day about this,” Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who will represent a neighboring Queens community, wrote on Twitter. “The community’s response? Outrage.”

70 comments:

Al Kuhseltsur said...

I live in NY and despise Andrew Cuomo and Bill DiBlasio and don't care for Jeff Bezos's politics. But Cuomo and DiBlasio are entitled to praise for winning this competition. $48k/job? Amortized over 7-10 years it's far less than the taxes per employee for one year. $100k jobs? Each one will create other jobs that pay taxes. Crowded subways and sewers? If you've been to LIC in the past 10 years it's already unaffordable, already has MANY 30+ story multiple dwellings, and already is more densely populated and Amazon is but part of an ongoing trend. Ultimately mass transit, sewers, etc. will improve even more just as they have over 10 years (and I've been bicycling through the neighborhood for the last 10). Higher housing prices? Yes - likely in Astoria and in Greenpoint (Brooklyn) and other adjoining neighborhoods that are already trending that way. Should you feel badly about current homeowners getting a windfall that enables them to sell their homes for good prices and move to a cheaper location?

The alternative is to screw people over by taxing their homes even more because of revenue shortfalls like they do in Chicago, where outside of the Gold Coast people take hits to their house prices as a result.

I looked at LIC in the 80s to see if it was workable as a place to live. At the time I didn't think so. I don't think most residents want to go back to that era.

Michael The Magnificent said...

But it's bad when Walker lures Foxcon to WI.

If it weren't for double standards...

Drago said...

But Walmart is not welcome because shutup H8terz!

Henry said...

The unemployment rate in NYC is 4%. The population is 8.5 million.

This math isn't hard.

stevew said...

Rent seeking is never worth it. For a recent example review the deal Boston made with General Electric.

rehajm said...

Ocassio is probably a little to attention seeking for a back bencher. Hillary won’t like that.

Rabel said...

Bezos drops a 25,000 job site in NYC - this gives him influence in NY, the hub of American media.

Bezos drops a 25,000 job site is a DC suburb - this gives him influence in DC, the hub of American politics.

The location choices were not about the incentives or the local work force. They were about the influence.

He's a smart mofo whether you like him or not.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

A O-C'S shelf life is going to remarkably short. Sure, make all the progressive noises you like, but don't actually believe that shit.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Since New York state cannot,legally, print US money someone in New York is paying for this gift to Amazon. Politicians love picking winners and losers since they are all totalitarians at heart.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

New York politicians steal from the poor and working class and give to the wealthy.

Rob said...

Concerning the New York Times building in Times Square:

"The site for the building was obtained by the Empire State Development Corporation through eminent domain. With a mandate to acquire and redevelop blighted properties in Times Square, ten existing buildings were condemned by the EDC and purchased from owners who in some cases did not want to sell, asserting that the area was no longer blighted (thanks in part to the earlier efforts of the EDC). The EDC though prevailed in the courts.

"Once the 80,000 square-foot site was assembled, it was leased to the New York Times Company and Forest City Ratner for $85.6 million over 99 years (considerably below market value). Additionally, the New York Times Company received $26.1 million in tax breaks."

Source

If you'd think the Times would disclose this in its article about Amazon, you'd think wrong.

Humperdink said...

How much is Bezos worth again? The irony is this would resemble a deal Trump would execute.

OPM ... others peoples money.

Browndog said...

I suppose we could use this as an opportunity to talk about corporate welfare and corrupt government.

Or, we can just dunk on the young commie for being stupid.

Henry said...

Queens has a population of 2.5M. Even if all 25,000 workers were dropped by helicopter from some utterly foreign place -- like Utah -- Queens would swallow them up.

The subways and sewers would be 1% more impacted.

cyrus83 said...

This is standard operating procedure in New York, politicians raise the taxes sky high so they can then offer incentives to their friends at the expense of the smaller businesses who have to pay higher taxes. It's basically anti-competitive in nature, big government putting the finger on the scale in favor of big business, so in that sense Ocasio-Cortez is correct. She apparently has yet to learn that the New York Democratic party is primarily interested in rent-seeking, a process that is likely to get far worse now that the Republican party has lost control of the state Senate.

mccullough said...

Too many people live in NYC.

Bob Boyd said...

Jeff Bezos announces he will buy the world a home and furnish it with love, grow apple trees and honey bees and snow white turtle doves.
Not only that, he will teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.
And to top it all off, he will buy the world a Coke and keep it company.

The NYT reports the international community's response: Outrage.

Maillard Reactionary said...

The usual nonsense. Socializing the costs and privatizing the benefits.

Mr. Majestyk said...

Now I am confused. I have it on good authority that is is the Republicans who throw always the "People's" money on tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

chuck said...

What's Cuomo's cut?

Ken B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

It's an investment with expenses and a return. Lower resident's taxes commensurate to net gains. Also, if they liked high-density population centers, with inflated costs, then they will love its progress. Win. Win.

Achilles said...

This is bullshit when Wisconsin does it. It is bullshit when New York does it.

There needs to be a No Handouts to Giant Corporations tax. The current system is crony bullshit. If it is good policy to let Amazon pay no local/state taxes then it is good policy for everyone.

The federal government can't tell what state and local governments can do outside of equal protection. Use that as a vehicle.

Or my preferred solution. If everyone has to pay a tax and a giant corporation gets a free handout from a state or local government the federal government should levy a 100% Excise tax on the difference and a 10% extra levy for having to deal with the paperwork.

D 2 said...

shouldnt we be moving people away from the coast, to be well away from the rising tides of AGW? Des Moines won't need a sea wall for a little while. Lots of room for improved density, not just marginal improvement. I'm confused about the priorities again.

Achilles said...

Henry said...
Queens has a population of 2.5M. Even if all 25,000 workers were dropped by helicopter from some utterly foreign place -- like Utah -- Queens would swallow them up.

The subways and sewers would be 1% more impacted.


Is this supposed to be an argument in support of cronyism?

robother said...

People, please. I prefer the Bushism "The Queens."

Henry said...

Achilles...

No.

Earnest Prole said...

Crony capitalism/corporate socialism: Something Andrew Cuomo, Bill De Blasio, Scott Walker, and Donald Trump can all agree on.

Robert Cook said...

"Concerning the New York Times building in Times Square:

'The site for the building was obtained by the Empire State Development Corporation through eminent domain. With a mandate to acquire and redevelop blighted properties in Times Square, ten existing buildings were condemned by the EDC and purchased from owners who in some cases did not want to sell, asserting that the area was no longer blighted (thanks in part to the earlier efforts of the EDC). The EDC though prevailed in the courts.

'Once the 80,000 square-foot site was assembled, it was leased to the New York Times Company and Forest City Ratner for $85.6 million over 99 years (considerably below market value). Additionally, the New York Times Company received $26.1 million in tax breaks.'
"


Some of my favorite porn emporiums were sacrificed to make room for the NY Times building. Sad.

gilbar said...

“Either you are creating jobs or you are losing jobs,” said [Governor Andrew] Cuomo.
and EVERYBODY KNOWS the Only way to be 'creating jobs' is to pay for them with tax dollars

Robert Cook said...

"The usual nonsense. Socializing the costs and privatizing the benefits."

That's how the capitalists get rich(er)!

Robert Cook said...

"Now I am confused. I have it on good authority that is is the Republicans who throw always the 'People's' money on tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires."

Why? There's no substantial difference between the parties. (Why the quote marks around "people's money"? It is the people's money.)

gspencer said...

Asked for a comment on Amazon's chosen location Ocasio-Cortez replied, "Totally, you know, absolutely, like, you know, so, like, this is so totally awesome."

Wince said...

What will these 25,000 people be doing for that $100k per year?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

I was listening to a Dan Caplis talk about how Denver lost out on Amazon today. He was bemoaning that the reason was that CO is a legal pot state and that makes it hard on employers.
A caller said that he was glad Amazon didn't make it here because our traffic is already really bad. Just a few random thoughts.

cronus titan said...

Amazon gets $1.5B in breaks in QUeens, and $573M in Arlington for essentially the same deal. That speaks to how insanely high taxes are in NYC and NYS. Amazon gets the same deal in both places, but one looks ridiculous because the normal tax structure is so ridiculous -- one "loses" $1.5B because that is how they normally treat businesses and residents. THey have not lost a damn thing on this deal since without it Amazon goes someplace else, and they would have zero tax revenue.

They also leave out the part where Amazon will spend $2.5B in each location, and THEN employ 25,000 people.

Hagar said...

Jeff Bezos is buying political influence in NYC and D.C. Amazon will become untouchable if it is not already.

n.n said...

NYT feels threatened by WaPo's migration.

Matt Sablan said...

"Too many people live in NYC."

-- I think the greatest blow for small government and trust busting/monopolies would be to move a bunch of federal government power out of DC into fly over states and to encourage businesses that do not physical location in major cities to do the same. But, I think a lot of the people big businesses and the government attract would rather commute two or three hours each way and live "in D.C." than maybe have to move to Kansas.

Rick said...

Robert Cook said...
"The usual nonsense. Socializing the costs and privatizing the benefits."

That's how the capitalists get rich(er)!


Crony capitalism is small scale socialism. Cook recognizes it sucks but somehow concludes the solution is MOAR!

mezzrow said...

And daddy won't you take me down the Grand Central Parkway
Down by the East River, right by Flushing Bay
Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking
Mister Bezos's campus has wished it away...

(apologies to John Prine)

Known Unknown said...

"Some of my favorite porn emporiums were sacrificed to make room for the NY Times building. Sad."

You're not all bad, Cookie. ; )

cronus titan said...

There is no reason for most federal agencies to be in DC. Interior, EPA, SSA, Agriculture, HUD, COmmerce, Energy, Transportation, Labor, etc. can be located anywhere. Dispersing these agencies throughout the country would accomplish getting them more in touch with the country and significantly reduce centralized government power.

n.n said...

Tax breaks, regulatory favors, insourcing/gerrymandering, scientific prophecies, journolistic coloring, social justice rackets, etc. There are many ways to share profit and "responsibility". Some more emotionally appealing and obvious than others.

n.n said...

Crony capitalism is small scale socialism.

A clear and progressive path leftward.

James K said...

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he will continue to boycott Amazon as the state offers more than $1.5 billion for its HQ2

William said...

I don't think there are any porn emporiums left. They've gone the way of the bison, Perhaps the preservationists can recreate a block on 8th Ave with peep shows and porn movies to give tourists a sense of history and young drug addicts a way to pick up a few bucks as tour guides and strippers.......I live in NYC. Perhaps this will work out. I've heard of dumber deals. I can't help but note that the enlightened leaders of NYC fought tooth and nail to keep Walmart from defiling the precincts of our lovely city. They didn't want Walmart to destroy the many small stores that keep NYC vibrant. Well all those vacant storefronts in NYC aren't due to Walmart but to Amazon. As Amazon becomes more perfected, the small retail store will go the way of the bison and the porn emporium.

funsize said...

They aren't creating jobs, at least not once the building is done. They are importing workers who will ruin what remains of their culture. Enjoy.

Be said...

As a Buffalonian might put things nowadays, might this help subsidize yet another crappy brewery along the Youngman? Thanks Smallbany.

gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

$61,000 from NYC taxpayers for each of the guaranteed 25,000 high-paying Amazon jobs in Long-Guyland City while Arlington County, Va will pay only $32,000 for each of the 25,000 Amazon jobs in Crystal City between Reagan National and The Pentagon. So we now have a new meaning for "Amazon Prime".

FIDO said...

How exactly do the Technical Monopolist Kleptocrats continue to find common ground with the likes of Occasional Cortex, who are Neo-Marxists without the intellectual heft?

Ouroboros.

rehajm said...

How exactly do the Technical Monopolist Kleptocrats continue to find common ground with the likes of Occasional Cortex, who are Neo-Marxists without the intellectual heft?

There's mutual benefit. High tax shitholes pay a little money up front and get in return for kinda-perpetuity: larger income tax base, larger property tax base, some GDP growth, some artificial civic pride from artificial economic growth. Marxists get to say they don't live a high tax shithole that nobody wants to move to.

Robert Cook said...

"Crony capitalism is small scale socialism. Cook recognizes it sucks but somehow concludes the solution is MOAR!"

Assumes (and asserts) facts not in evidence.

Chris N said...

‘Lean is hungry. Hungry is life. This is our turf. 1000 more health inspectors and get every fucking MTA worker out on that line. No one, and I mean no body...crosses that fucking river tonight.’

-Big Red Bill DeBlasio, in greasy top hat, said to have to have whispered, rather cryptically, to a group of associates at City Hall.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Robert Cook said...
"The usual nonsense. Socializing the costs and privatizing the benefits."


Similar to when tax payers are asked to pay for a new football stadium, and it's the owner who benefits.

Leland said...

Fight it NY. Run Bezos and his company out of town and out of state. Just do it!

Oh, and don't let NJ or Pennsylvania get away with giving Bezos a home. No. Push him further away than that. Maybe across the Appalachians and into the Midwest, but no where near the Great Lakes. Maybe somewhere bordering the Gulf of Mexico.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The left want it both ways. Jobs are all good, but - are they union-democrat dues paying jobs that pour money into Clintonian coffers?

Matt Sablan said...

As a resident of Virginia, it is nice to know I'll pay higher taxes so people richer than me can move in and raise the cost of living. Given other cities bid more in raw dollars, I wonder what sweeteners were offered. Or, what I suspect is that other cities and localities were the equivalent of telling a leasing agent you had a few more places to look at before deciding. Basically being used as leverage.

hawkeyedjb said...

Sic Alexandra on 'em. If there's one thing socialists are good at, it's getting rid of jobs.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook said...
'The usual nonsense. Socializing the costs and privatizing the benefits.'


"Similar to when tax payers are asked to pay for a new football stadium, and it's the owner who benefits."


Actually, I did not make the original statement; I quoted it to agree with it. And it is exactly like the practice of stealing from city taxpayers to pay for construction of new sports facilities, the profits from which will all go to private owners.

ALP said...

I am stunned politicians are pissed that JOBS are coming to their town.

Big Mike said...

@ALP, will the jobs be filled by local people?

wild chicken said...

when tax payers are asked to pay for a new football stadium

By owners AND stupid feckless sportsball fans...

Big Mike said...

@Matthew Sablan, what part of Virginia? I'm up near Winchester.

IMHO Arlington is precisely the wrong place to put the Amazon building. There's really only two ways into Arlington, on Route 50, which is already a slowly moving parking lot during rush hour, and I-66, which is limited to cars with two or more occupants (or who are willing to pay variable tolls that can reach $40 or more!). Unless the government relocates who federal departments to outside cities (the way Social Security was moved to Baltimore and most of the FBI to West Virginia), the road infrastructure already cannot handle the traffic.

Rick.T. said...

The roughly $20k per job in incentives that Nashville/Davidson County and the state of Tennessee is giving out for the just announced 5,000 jobs (average $150k salary) at an new Operations Center of Excellence looks like a bargain by comparison. We'll win in Williamson County due to many of the employees making a home here for the schools and lower taxes.

Sam L. said...

Amazon asked Queens to "King Me".

Bruce Hayden said...

“There's mutual benefit. High tax shitholes pay a little money up front and get in return for kinda-perpetuity: larger income tax base, larger property tax base, some GDP growth, some artificial civic pride from artificial economic growth. Marxists get to say they don't live a high tax shithole that nobody wants to move to.”

Except that you can’t create GDP this way. It was this sort of Keynesian nonsense, most famously espoused by returning Speaker Nancy Palsy, that gave us the eight year Obama Recession. The money used to pay for this sort of thing has to come from the taxpayers, somewhere and somehow, and that ultimately means that their underfunded government employee pension plans become just that much more underfunded. It has been obvious for several years now that the Blue States with the worst pension problems are expecting that the taxpayers from the more prudent states bail them out. I expect, with a Dem House next year that we will see some sort of start there. But that just means that people from the more prudent states should bsidize this nonsense, and not the taxpayers from everywhere else in the state get screwed instead. In the end, this sort of redistribution reduces, not increases, GDP nationwide, and very likely statewide, since I don’t see the rest of the states bailing out NY any time soon.

Be said...

Buffalo will rise.

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