Companies often try to gouge tax breaks and other incentives from local governments by creating a bidding war among them, by promising to build a large new facilities that would create many high-paying jobs, even though the company has likely already decided on the best site even before the process starts. These promises by the company are rarely realized in practice and the net result is that the companies get the tax breaks they were promised while not upholding their end of the bargain, creating fewer jobs and lower paying ones at that. The latest glaring example of this is Foxconn in Wisconsin, a company that richly deserves the ‘con’ in its name.
These deals are negotiated in secret with details only revealed after the deal has been sold to the public and signed. A recent deal that was agreed upon between Amazon and the city and state of New York that would have provided the behemoth with huge tax breaks and other incentives was scuttled because of loud and vociferous local opposition from the public. Amazon canceled the deal in a huff, saying that its feelings were hurt by the lack of love shown to it and specifically targeting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for being a vocal opponent. But they later quietly announced that they were going to build a corporate office in the city after all.
The Wall Street Journal now reveals that Amazon was secretly offered almost a billion dollars more in incentives than what was earlier revealed, that included even paying the salaries of some of Amazon’s employees.
NEWS: New York State officials offered @Amazon almost a billion dollars more of incentives than was previously known to win its #HQ2 contest. The state was even prepared to pay part of some employees’ salaries if the tech company developed a campus here.https://t.co/cgK4nRTsBh
— Jimmy Vielkind (@JimmyVielkind) January 4, 2020
We know that Amazon is an evil and rapacious company. The question is whether the people who negotiated this sweetheart deal on behalf of the city and state will be identified and asked to explain why they made the deal and why they kept such a big part of it secret from the public that would be paying for it.