News Release

Amazon HQ2: “Massive Transfer of Wealth from Taxpayers to Shareholders”

The New York Times reports “Amazon Chooses Queens and a Washington Suburb for ‘Second Headquarters.’”

GREG LeROY, goodjobs at goodjobsfirst.org, @goodjobsfirst
LeRoy is executive director for Good Jobs First and is quoted in the New York Times article. His group recently released a statement on Amazon HQ2 site location: “As we documented in a study last April, the Crystal City and Long Island City subsidy offers are among the many HQ2 bids that remain completely hidden. Citizens have no idea what their elected officials have promised to a company headed by the richest person on earth.

“We don’t know what special new subsidies have been promised that will require state or local enactments. We don’t know if gentrification buffers — especially affordable housing — are included. We don’t know if clawbacks or other safeguards are included. We don’t know the cost per job. But we do know that both deals were negotiated in secret, without any public input. We also know that past U.S. ‘megadeals’ have cost an average of $658,000 per job. At that price, taxpayers can never come close to breaking even. Such deals convey a massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers to shareholders.”

The statement noted the efforts of local community groups, which “telegraphed their demands for community benefits shortly after Amazon launched the HQ2 auction at ourhq2wishlist.org.”