Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a statement blamed the state Senate, led by his own party, for the sinking of a deal to bring up to 40,000 Amazon jobs to Queens tied to $3 billion in tax breaks.
Amazon announced Thursday it was pulling out of the deal amid a political backlash to the proposal.
Cuomo in his statement pointed to the project as a chance to diversifying the city’s economy from real estate and the financial sector.
“However, a small group politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community — which poll after poll showed overwhelmingly supported bringing Amazon to Long Island City — the state’s economic future and the best interests of the people of this state,” he said in the statement. “The New York State Senate has done tremendous damage. They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity.”
Democrats, who gained control of the state Senate this year, had nominated Sen. Mike Gianaris to a board that potentially had the power to veto the tax breaks.
Gianaris in a statement did not take credit, but blamed the company for its failure on outreach.
“Today’s behavior by Amazon shows why they would have been a bad partner for New York in any event,” he said. “Rather than seriously engage with the community they proposed to profoundly change, Amazon continued its effort to shakedown governments to get its way. It is time for a national dialogue about the perils of these types of corporate subsidies.”
Cuomo had been a chief booster for the deal and defended it amid growing criticism over the size of the tax incentives as well as the company’s opposition to unionizing its workforce. The governor had said Amazon would have meant a $27 billion boost to the New York City economy as the six-figure jobs moved to Long Island City.
At the same time, New York had offered a smaller tax incentive plan than other states.
Still, Republicans and liberal opponents of the deal blamed the governor for the proposal, arguing he had negotiated it in secret with little buy in for other officials.
“The fundamentals of New York’s business climate and community that attracted amazon to be here – our talent pool, world-class education system, commitment to diversity and progressivism – remain and we won’t be deterred as we continue to attract world class business to communities across New York State,” Cuomo said.
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