One of the first opponents to speak against the Amazon deal to open a headquarters in Long Island City is now working on banning corporate welfare packages across the country.
Assemblyman Ron Kim announced legislation that would ban the practice of municipal and state governments offering corporate subsidies for specific companies in New York. It comes in the wake of the $3 billion deal given to Amazon to locate its HQ2 in New York City, the announcement of which was met with sustained opposition.
“When municipalities and states bend over backwards for the chance to give billions to mega-companies, we all lose,” Kim said. “It is time to end the practice of subsidizing multinational corporations without transparency, accountability, or results under the guise of economic development, and to start investing in the working families and small businesses that represent the lifeblood of our country.”
Kim and Brooklyn state Senator Julia Salazar have been communicating with state legislators across the country on ways to end the practice of offering company-specific subsidies, especially given that no studies have shown a correlation between such “economic development” programs and meaningful economic growth.
The bill would enact a collective agreement between all states that join, an interstate compact, to end the costly Race to the Bottom between different cities and states, which has cost many of them billions annually in taxpayers’ money for several decades.
Their colleagues in Illinois, Arizona, and West Virginia have already introduced similar versions of the bill in their own state legislative bodies, and other lawmakers from states as far and diverse as Florida and Connecticut have expressed comparable support and intentions in the near future.
Rather than subsidize big businesses, the lawmakers agreed that it made far more sense to invest in policies that support public infrastructure, small businesses and working families in their communities.
“It’s past time for a national reckoning about our flawed economic development policies that result in massive public subsidies to wealthy corporations that don’t need them,” state Senator Michael Gianaris said. “I am proud to support this effort by Senator Salazar and Assemblyman Kim, which would begin to restore sanity to job creation efforts.”
In just two weeks, eleven states in total have joined or expressed interest in joining these efforts: New York, Illinois, Arizona, West Virginia, Florida, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, North Dakota, Colorado, and Utah.