A Republican member of the New York State Assembly thinks clueless local lawmakers need to read Donald Trump’s business advice book, “The Art of the Deal.”
Nicole Malliotakis, the 2017 Republican nominee for Mayor of New York City, slammed Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio for a questionable deal struck with Amazon over opening half of its “second headquarters” in New York City.
Malliotakis, who represents Staten Island and Brooklyn, criticized the decision which left “taxpayers holding the bag” in an op-ed for Townhall entitled: “Dear Santa, Please Bring Cuomo, de Blasio Copies of Trump’s ‘Art of the Deal.”
“Instead of lowering the tax burden to attract the smallest entrepreneurs and the Amazons of the world, precious tax dollars that could have been used to upgrade all our city’s subway signals, add classroom space, or provide property tax relief are being used to subsidize one of the richest companies on Earth,” she wrote referring to last week’s announcement that prompted immediate protests near the proposed site of Amazon’s Long Island City campus.
Democratic Socialist and New York Congress member-elect, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, blasted the deal saying her constituents in Queens had voiced “outrage,” although she was widely criticized for dismissing an opportunity for thousands of jobs to be located within her district.
But critics have complained that New Yorkers will be on the hook for thousands of dollars in the plan with more than $1.5 billion in taxpayer-funded incentives. De Blasio called the announced plan a “giant step on our path to building an economy in New York City that leaves no one behind,” according to Fox News.
Amazon revealed in an announcement that the state would be giving the company the equivalent of “$48,000 per job for 25,000 jobs,” with $1.7 billion in tax break and incentives from the state and another $1.3 billion from the city.
Malliotakis argued that the thousands of jobs created by Amazon’s New York City move will end up being subsidized by “hardworking New Yorkers” with each costing “at least $61,000 of taxpayer money.”
For Malliotakis, the daughter of a Greek immigrant father and a Cuban refugee mother, the red carpet rolled out by the Democratic lawmakers to attract the tech giant company is a simple case of poor business skills.
Other locations have managed to attract Amazon’s business without breaking the bank. For example, Virginia will now be home to the other Amazon HQ2, but at a fraction of the subsidies New York is providing. Between Arlington and the commonwealth of Virginia, the government will be subsidizing $573 million for the same 25,000 jobs that will be brought to New York. Whether this is a result of a raw deal or – as Governor Cuomo admitted – a consequence of Virginia’s lower tax burden, it is the people of New York who will pay the price of the largest incentive package ever provided to a private company by the state.
Malliotakis defended her Republican colleagues who are usually at the receiving end of criticism, pointing out how the GOP has fought against many of the multi-million dollar giveaways and tax credits negotiated by the state’s ruling Democrats.
It’s funny… Republicans are often accused of being the party of corporate welfare and benefits for the wealthy yet, in Albany, it’s the Republican Assembly Conference that has stood up against Cuomo’s $21 million giveaway to NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, $16 million to CBS for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and $130 million for a new Buffalo Bills stadium and tax credit for owners of luxury yachts with price tags of at least $230,000 and sales tax exemption on private planes. And these giveaways pale in comparison to the infamous $1 billion the state awarded to companies in Buffalo whose executives gave large donations to Cuomo (that eventually led to criminal convictions for bid-rigging).
Cuomo fired back at critics in an op-ed published on his website, blaming “extreme conservatives” and “socialists” for their opposition and demands for New York to have a lower corporate tax rate instead of offering tax breaks. The Democratic governor admitted “this is not a perfect world” but this was his attempt to work within a broken system rather than try to fix it.
The mayor offered the same kind of rhetoric in defending the decision, causing Malliotakis to lament that when the men finally got to “work together on something, it’s at the taxpayer’s expense.”
“As much as the two compete to be President Trump’s loudest critic, they should each pick up a copy of ‘The Art of the Deal’ because frankly this deal stinks” she concluded.
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