To the local politicians who seemed to be the most vocal in their opposition to having Amazon build their HQ2 in LIC, have any of you taken the time to visit the proposed site?
Much, if not most, of the property currently there is not generating any real estate tax. One building houses the Department of Education. Do they pay taxes to the city?
Another sprawling facility is used by the Department of Environmental Protection. How much taxes do they pay? Amazon would have generated over $27 billion in tax dollars over the next decade, as well as 25,000 to 40,000 jobs.
They argued that Amazon was anti-union and too rich, and did not deserve a $3 billion tax incentive. I currently belong to a union, but I’ve also worked half my life for non-union companies.
Nobody forced me to work for them, I freely made my own decision. Most people, especially those who are unemployed or barely getting by in low-paying jobs, would rather make their own decision about where they work.
Amazon planned to offer free job training. I don’t know what positions local residents would have be offered, but I suspect they would have been in the information technology field.
Years ago, I worked nights driving a yellow cab - a union job. I went to school during the day and learned computer programming. Within five years I tripled my salary.
The local politicians who opposed the Amazon deal all have comfortable, well-paying jobs. What gave them the right to make a decision that adversely affects tens of thousands of New Yorkers?
If they were sincere about their concerns, they should have supported HQ2 and waited until Amazon built their facility and started the hiring process. At that point Amazon would have committed so much time and money, they would be reluctant to abandon the project.
They would have been in a much stronger negotiating position and, more importantly, thousands of New Yorkers would have well-paying jobs.