Upstate lawmakers sent a message to their downstate colleagues on Monday: If you don’t want Amazon, we’ll take it.
“It is apparent the obstacles in New York City are going to be difficult to overcome and with all of the resources we have in the Syracuse-Rochester corridor we would hope Amazon would give us a chance to become the home of the new headquarters,” state Sen. Bob Antonacci (R-Syracuse) said in a press release Monday.
“We would be willing to work with them to help boost economic and job growth in our region.”
Amazon’s plan to open a headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, has come under fire over $3 billion in tax breaks and other incentives offered by the city and state in exchange for at least 25,000 jobs.
Said Assemblyman William Barclay, who represents western New York: “We need private investment to spur jobs and add to the overall economy. If political forces in NYC continue to put up hurdles to some 25,000 jobs, we would gladly accommodate them Upstate.”
Assemblyman Gary Finch, who represents the Finger Lakes region, said it “never made sense to provide Amazon incentives to headquarter in the most prosperous city in the world. But it makes a lot of sense for Amazon to put down stakes in the Finger Lakes…”
Sen. Pam Helming (R-Canandaigua) said tax incentives “would not even be needed” if Amazon relocated upstate because of the region’s affordability.
The upstate GOP pols couldn’t resist rubbing it in, claiming downstate Democrats are anti-business and anti-growth.
State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), the deputy majority leader who represents the neighborhood where the new Amazon headquarters would be located, opposes the incentive package as unnecessary corporate welfare.