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From the moment Queens was announced as one of two new locations for Amazon’s HQ2, New Yorkers were apoplectic. From subsidies for Jeff Bezo’s helipad to the influx of riders it would put on a struggling transit city, citizens of the city did not want the world’s biggest company getting $3 billion in tax breaks and benefits.
And today, New Yorkers got their wish. Amazon announced they would no longer be pursuing an HQ2 location in New York, issuing a statement saying they were backing out.
After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens. For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term. While polls show that 70% of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project we and many others envisioned in Long Island City.
Immediately after the deal was originally announced, blowback from local and national politicians was resounding. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), whose district includes parts of Queens, criticized the deal.
Just yesterday Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke out against Amazon.
Amazon made $16.8 billion in profits over the past two years but have paid ZERO in federal income taxes. In fact it got a $269 million tax refund.
Our job: Demand large corporations pay their fair share in taxes so that we can rebuild the disappearing middle class.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 13, 2019
Today, New Yorkers rejoiced.
— Monica Castillo (@mcastimovies) February 14, 2019
adios amigos https://t.co/ObkxGhLhbK
— g a b y (@gabydvj) February 14, 2019
Shoulda gone with Newark, folks.
— Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) February 14, 2019
can we get a special edition of the New York Times The Hunt column about all the amazon execs who bought condos in LIC already
— rachel syme (@rachsyme) February 14, 2019
Amazon’s search for two new locations in America was rotten from the start, with the company playing locations against each other in an effort to increase packages, despite the fact that the company was most likely going to pick New York and D.C. After the deal was solidified, it was revealed several Amazon executives had bought condos in New York near the location, revealing the company had long ago made up its mind.
In its statement, Amazon said it was going to go forward with its proposed Northern Virginia location, and would not reopen a search for another HQ2.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]