Local opposition to tax breaks for multi-billion-dollar companies isn’t an issue exclusive to Baton Rouge. The battle in New York isn’t over ITEP, but citizen groups and a handful of local politicians in Queens are objecting to proposed tax subsidies for Amazon.
As a result, Amazon.com is reconsidering its plan to bring 25,000 jobs to a new campus in New York City, according to two people familiar with the company’s thinking, The Washington Post reports.
The company has not leased or purchased office space for the project, making it easy to withdraw its commitment. Unlike in Virginia—where elected leaders quickly passed an incentive package for a separate headquarters facility—final approval from New York state is not expected until 2020.
Tennessee officials have also embraced Amazon’s plans to bring 5,000 jobs to Nashville, which this week approved $15.2 million in road, sewer and other improvements related to that project.
Amazon executives have had internal discussions recently to reassess the situation in New York and explore alternatives. Amazon founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos also owns The Washington Post.
In Baton Rouge, the school board’s rejection, fueled by ITEP-opposition from Together Baton Rouge, prompted local ExxonMobil officials to express concern with the city’s “unpredictable” business climate while declaring the company would reconsider its future investments here.
Amazon’s announcement it would come to New York was hailed as an economic triumph by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), but since then the project has faced withering criticism from some politicians and advocacy groups in Queens appalled at the prospect of giving giant subsidies to the world’s most valuable company, led by its richest man. Read the full story.