Amazon Decision a Huge Loss For New York [OPINION]
Cities all across America were hoping to land Amazon's second world headquarters including several right here in Massachusetts. Yes, all of them offered tax incentives, since that is the way to attract new business in the 21st century.
The New York proposal offered Amazon an awful lot. Some might argue that it's crazy to incentify a company the size of Amazon but again, that is how it is done these days. Any city or state worth its salt would do the same to land a company like Amazon.
Under the deal, New York would have given Amazon an estimated $3 billion in tax breaks and incentives. But it was not a one-sided deal. New York in return would have gotten between 25,000 and 40,000 jobs paying a base salary of $150,000. The company would have opened a school and trained a workforce. There was also road and utility construction that Amazon would have taken care of in lieu of taxes totaling some $650 million.
The project would also have generated some $27 billion in city and state tax revenue over 25 years while creating some 1,300 construction jobs and 107,000 in total direct and indirect jobs.
All for a $3 billion investment? Sounds like a deal to me.
Those who opposed the project were concerned about the impact on local retail sales. People are already buying from Amazon online. This was a corporate headquarters, not a retail venture. They also complained about spending so much money on a business rather than on people. I cannot think of a better way of taking care of people than giving them a job or entrepreneurial opportunities.
The loss of Amazon will be devastating to New York. Amazon was an investment in New York and its people and now because of politics, those opportunities are lost.
What a shame.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.