- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is furious with local politicians in his state who opposed a plan for Amazon to build a new headquarters in New York City.
- The vast majority of the local lawmakers who fought against the plan are Democrats, like Cuomo.
- Cuomo said the local leaders who weren’t in favour of the plan should be “held accountable for the lost economic opportunity.”
- Amazon on Thursday announced it was backing out, citing “a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence” as a large part of its decision.
- The new Amazon headquarters would have been build in Long Island City in the borough of Queens.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday slammed local politicians – the vast majority of whom are Democrats, like Cuomo – who opposed a plan for Amazon to build a new headquarters in New York City after the company scrapped the deal.
“A small group of politicians put their own narrow political interests above their community … the state’s economic future and the best interests of the people of this state,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Cuomo said the New York state Senate has “done tremendous damage,” adding that those who opposed the plan should be “held accountable for the lost economic opportunity.”
Andrew Cuomo's first words on Amazon.
Of the political opponents: "They should be held accountable for this lost economic opportunity." pic.twitter.com/zjL7QOeN3J
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) February 14, 2019
The New York governor’s comments echoed an earlier statement from Amazon on the decision to bail on the plan, which also pointed the finger at local politicians.
“After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens,” Amazon said.
“While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City,” the statement added.
According to a study commissioned by Cuomo, the new Amazon headquarters would have brought $US27.5 billion in tax revenue for the state and city. Amazon also claimed the plan would bring 25,000 new jobs to the country’s largest city.
But a number of local politicians opposed the plan because the city and state had promised to give Amazon $US3 billion in tax incentives and they didn’t think it was worth it.
New York City Council speaker Corey Johnson, who was one of the most outspoken opponents of the deal, seemed enthused by Amazon’s decision on Thursday. “I hope this is the start of a conversation about vulture capitalism and where our tax dollars are best spent,” Johnson said in a statement.
Meanwhile, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio appeared to suggest that Amazon was making a big mistake.
In a statement, de Blasio said, “You have to be tough to make it in New York City. We gave Amazon the opportunity to be a good neighbour and do business in the greatest city in the world … If Amazon can’t recognise what that’s worth, its competitors will.”
The new Amazon headquarters would have been built in Long Island City in the borough of Queens.