Elected officials calling for Amazon to reconsider an upstate NY headquarters

The tech giant confirmed Thursday it's backing out of a deal saying local opposition killed the deal.

Posted: Feb. 14, 2019 5:18 PM
Updated: Feb. 14, 2019 11:43 PM

Amazon will not be delivering its new headquarters to New York City.

The tech giant confirmed Thursday it's backing out of a deal saying local opposition killed the deal.

Several local elected officials have reached out saying Amazon should come upstate.

State Sen. Joseph Griffo, and Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente released a joint letter saying:

“Dear Mr. Bezos,

We are writing in regards to Amazon’s decision to cancel its plans to establish a corporate campus in New York City. As elected leaders who believe strongly in partnering with the private sector to create jobs and opportunity, we are disappointed in the crass political gamesmanship that has caused Amazon to reconsider its decision to locate HQ2 in Queens.

While HQ2 is not going forward in Queens, we can assure you an investment by Amazon in the Utica-Rome area of Upstate New York would be greeted with open arms. This region is centrally located, possesses a state-of-the-art airport and offers great home values, wonderful schools and a hard-working and highly-skilled workforce. In addition, as one of only 7 UAS approved test sites in the nation, the existing and emerging drone-related technology at Griffiss Business and Technology Park would be a tremendous asset to your company. In short, this region and its residents embody the spirit and ingenuity that Amazon is looking for when it comes to potential sites to build a facility.

As Amazon considers its future needs, we ask that you consider the Utica-Rome region. Whether it’s opening a new satellite corporate facility, expanding drone research and testing or establishing a fulfillment center or distribution hub we are ready and willing to be a partner with Amazon in any endeavor you choose to pursue.

Our area would benefit greatly from the jobs and economic infusion that a company such as yours would bring if it chose to establish a presence here and would serve as a great ambassador for Amazon.
If you have any questions about the area and what it can offer your company, please do not hesitate to contact either of us.”

State Senator James Seward said:

“This is a lost opportunity for New York state. It is extremely unfortunate that a hostile political environment has resulted in the loss of 25,000 good paying jobs. While I have been critical of the lack of transparency involved in the Amazon deal, I was ultimately supportive of the economic opportunities that were on our horizon. This project was a net positive for New York and I was working to ensure upstate would benefit – instead the entire state loses out thanks to the shortsightedness of a few.”

Statement from Assemblyman Brian Miller:

“Though I am opposed to corporate welfare – specifically providing massive tax incentives to the wealthiest company in the world – I know constituents throughout my district would gladly welcome 25,000 Amazon jobs and so do I.
It is unfortunate, however, that the state continues to focus its economic development strategy on these types of hand-outs and ‘economic hunting’ tactics rather than on ‘economic gardening’ efforts that support and promote the existing businesses in our state. Family farms and other small businesses across Upstate New York are the true backbone of our economy and they need the help, not massive corporations. As we continue to negotiate a state budget and job-creating programs, I hope Albany regains its focus on the Upstate economy.”

Assemblyman Blankenbush’s statement:

“It never made sense to offer the richest man in the world billions of dollars in corporate welfare to locate his company in the most prosperous city in America. If the governor offers the same incentives and tax relief to hardworking men and women who are already investing in our communities and fighting to keep their neighbors on the payroll, maybe he can prevent another million people from leaving the state. Working with Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk makes the governor feel important. What’s actually important is cutting taxes and reforming regulations across the board so that Upstate New York can thrive again.”

Assemblyman John Salka said:

“It’s a sad day when we can’t attract a major player in the world economic market to New York. The governor and his circle couldn’t keep Amazon’s interest even with a $3 billion sweetheart deal; it just shows how fostering high taxes and an anti-business mindset can hurt the state as a whole. Cuomo’s failure to court Jeff Bezos with special deals and incentives truly highlights how he’s ruined the business reputation of New York.”

Assemblyman Robert Smullen released a statement saying:

"Why did governor want to hand out over $3 billion of taxpayer dollars to one of the richest companies in the world in the first place? The governor found $3 billion to give to Amazon, while upstate communities receive pennies on the dollar in state aid. Now that he’s not, we should reinvest that money into our upstate communities, since middle-class families and small businesses aren't receiving the same generous handouts offered to corporations and the governor’s campaign donors. We’re facing a $3 billion budget deficit, a $2.3 billion revenue shortfall and a continuing outflow of over a million residents, so this was just an irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars.”

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