Koch-backed groups blast carveouts to corporations after Amazon announcement

Koch-backed groups blast carveouts to corporations after Amazon announcement
© Getty Images

Groups backed by wealthy GOP donor Charles Koch on Wednesday criticized cities and states that give out special incentives to corporations, following Amazon's announcement that it was splitting its second headquarters between New York City and Northern Virginia.

“Americans are fed up with wasteful corporate welfare, yet cities and states are breaking the taxpayer bank to give carveouts to huge corporations," officials with Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. "We need a level playing field where businesses can succeed by creating value for others – not a group of politicians cobbling together massive subsidy packages that almost never deliver the jobs they promise."

ADVERTISEMENT

Amazon said that it will collect more than $1.5 billion in incentives from New York and up to $550 million from Virginia in establishing its new offices. Many New York and Virginia politicians praised Amazon's decision to pick their locations, saying it will lead to more jobs.

But the tech giant's announcement garnered criticism from others like incoming congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who said that local residents were concerned about Amazon receiving tax breaks when there are problems with the subway system.

The Koch-backed groups argued that taxpayer dollars used by states and localities to entice companies could be used instead for other purposes such as law enforcement and education.

"Government ought to focus on serving the people rather than pursuing ‘economic development’ on the backs of taxpayers, especially in a tight labor market," the groups said. "A good business environment that benefits all companies — large and small — will have a far greater lasting impact on jobs and opportunity than an economy reliant on corporate welfare and taxpayer handouts."