Gov. Cuomo: New York gave Amazon ‘nothing’ for new headquarters

State News
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NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 14: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at his Midtown Manhattan office, September 14, 2018 in New York City. Cuomo discussed his primary night election victory as well as a range of other topics. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

ALBANY, NY (WROC) – In an op-ed article posted to the governor’s website, Governor Cuomo is pushing back against critics who say that New York gave up too much to land a split of the new Amazon headquarters.

In the article, Governor Cuomo says, “The New York Post, which is representative of extreme conservatives, says essentially that New York ‘gave Amazon $1 billion.’ Their argument is factually baseless. New York State and New York City gave Amazon nothing.”

However, according to agreement sent out by Amazon, the company is set to get $1.5 billion in incentives including state grants and tax breaks.

However, Governor Cuomo says that despite the breaks, New York will still draw revenue from the headquarters.

The governor writes, “Amazon, by our current tax structure, would generate approximately $1 billion per year in new revenue. Our proposal offered that, when and if those revenues are realized, the government would effectively reduce their $1 billion payment by about $100 million for a net to New York of approximately $900 million. New York doesn’t give Amazon $100 million. Amazon gives New York $900 million.”

Governor Cuomo has faced criticism for the size of the incentives package Amazon is getting, which was nearly double the size of the incentives package Virginia is offering for the other half of the headquarters split.

In his argument, Cuomo says, “Nothing in the Amazon transaction is new. The tax incentives we provide for single business transactions are usual and typical and have been operational for decades. They are long standing programs supported by both Democrats and Republicans in both the city and the state. Nor are tax incentive programs unique to New York.”

Cuomo later takes aim at critics in his own party who were upset with the size of the incentives package.

He writes, “Mark my words, come election time, when the opponents of these politician’s side with the businesses and residents who are benefiting from the Amazon infusion, these same politicians will find a way to change their position once again. Political winds blow strong in New York, but they also shift rapidly.”

The new Amazon headquarters in New York City will operate out of Long Island City in Queens. Rochester and Buffalo submitted a joint proposal for the headquarters, that ultimately didn’t make the cut.

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