Earlier this week, Amazon announced that they would be dividing their HQ2 location between two “lucky” cities: Long Island City in New York and Arlington in Virginia.
The announcement was met with both praise and backlash — mostly backlash thought — especially in New York City, where reports indicate that Amazon’s HQ2 campus could eliminate up to 1,500 affordable housing units.
Now, in response, New York Democrats in the state Assembly and state Senate have slammed the idea of New York offering taxpayer subsidies to Amazon.
That includes New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim, who said that he would be introducing legislation to take the money that Governor Cuomo and other officials committed to Amazon and use it to cancel some of the over $80 billion in New York student debt.
According to Kim, the legislation would halt any offer of taxpayer money to Amazon and redirect the funds to cancel distressed student debt instead.
via Capital & Main:
“Giving Jeff Bezos hundreds of millions of dollars is an immoral waste of taxpayers’ money when it’s crystal clear that the money would create more jobs and more economic growth when it is used to relieve student debt,” said Kim, who recently published an op-ed with law professor Zephyr Teachout criticizing the Amazon deal.
“Giving Amazon this type of corporate welfare is no different, if not worse, than Donald Trump giving trillions in corporate tax breaks at the federal level. There’s no correlation between healthy, sustainable job creation and corporate giveaways. If we used this money to cancel distressed student debt instead, there would be immediate positive GDP growth, job creation and impactful social-economic returns.”
The original deal between Amazon and New York City promised that Amazon would bring about 25,000 jobs to New York City, however, the state had to give Amazon more than $1.5 billion, including an offer to reimburse the company $48,000 for every job.