Not everyone is jazzed about the idea of Amazon coming to town.
A cadre of progressive community organizations says it will fire off a letter to Mayor de Blasio on Monday and hold a rally to show the group's disappointment that the city is “rolling out the red carpet for Amazon.”
The coalition cites the company’s treatment of workers and job sites as reasons the city and state should not offer it tax breaks.
“You should focus on pushing Amazon to be a better corporate citizen and improving how it treats communities and workers,” the letter says. “You should also actively work to ensure that this multibillion-dollar company, who already has a significant presence in New York, does not receive financial incentives simply for doing business here. New York communities are facing massive cuts to public goods and services, and working families are struggling to make ends meet."
Groups including the Alliance For Quality Education, Center for Popular Democracy and Make the Road New York signed the letter, which notes Amazon already has a presence in the city. It operates a Prime Now hub in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park and is planning a massive distribution center in Staten Island.
“To be clear: Amazon should not receive sales tax exemptions, property tax abatements, corporate income tax credits, or any other state or local financial incentives, period,” the group writes.
Instead, the city should push the online retail giant to take better care of its workers and insist it invest in the community where it decides to open up a second headquarters.
“We are competing to bring Amazon here because it means tens of thousands of high-paying jobs for New Yorkers,” said de Blasio spokeswoman Melissa Grace. “As the mayor has said, this isn’t a race to the bottom for us. New York City’s talented workforce, diverse economy and strong neighborhoods are our selling points — not big discretionary tax benefits.”
Many city politicians — de Blasio among them — rallied against Walmart coming to town. Maritza Silva-Farrell, executive director of ALIGN-NY, which signed onto the letter, said Amazon is akin to “Walmart on steroids.”
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