Niagara-Gazette: 2 more watchdogs urge rejection of Amazon tax breaks

August 9, 2022 Media

Two more watchdog agencies are urging the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency to reject Amazon’s requested tax incentives for its Niagara distribution facility.

Reinvent Albany and the American Economic Liberties Project have issued letters to the agency saying its proposed Payment In Lieu of Taxes agreement represents one of the single largest handouts to Amazon in U.S. history. The letters cite the body of research indicating that tax breaks are not a significant factor in where Amazon decides to build warehouses.

The American Economic Liberties Project letter is co-authored by OPEIU Local 153, the Amazon Labor Union, New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, Good Jobs First, Strong Economy for All, and Fight Corporate Monopolies.

“This is the latest instance of Amazon using secrecy and corrupt backroom negotiations to force a harmful deal onto a local community, with the backing of local politicians,” said Pat Garafalo, the director of state and local policy at the American Economic Liberties Project. “There’s simply no reason for Niagara, or any locality, to subsidize Amazon’s local business model, which is based on burying small businesses and churning through workers. Instead, officials should be mandating that Amazon pay fair wages and provide a safe environment for its employees.”

“With a large base of Prime subscribers and a reputation for swift delivery, it is extremely unlikely that Amazon would build a warehouse in Canada to service its Niagara customers,” Speaker wrote.Four co-authors of the Americans Economic Liberties Project letter wrote further that Niagara County taxpayers should not subsidize another warehouse given that the child poverty rate in the county is 20% and the workers will be paid $15 an hour.