FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM MARCH 28, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 37
letters & comments
Amazon jobs are
worth the fi ght
BY CAROLYN B. MALONEY
As a New Yorker, I want to see our city become the
tech capital of the Northeast, if not the world. And
while we’re well on the way to getting there without
Amazon, I think Amazon’s HQ2 would cement our
leadership in tech.
Th at’s why I’ve joined the governor, the mayor and
business, labor and civic leaders, and community residents
in urging Amazon to reconsider its decision to
pull plans for its new headquarters in Long Island City.
It’s worth taking another shot.
Jobs matter. A lot. And Amazon was promising
25,000 of them, paying an average of $150,000. Th at’s
on top of the 11,000 unionized construction and maintenance
jobs HQ2 would have created. Sometimes overlooked
is that the new Amazon headquarters would
have caused wages to rise at existing jobs by an estimated
Th e tech sector jobs would help diversify our workforce
and free us from our dependence on the fi nance,
insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector that has been
Amazon employees would have contributed roughly
$27 billion to tax revenue for the city and state over
the next 25 years, helping us pay for new schools, modernize
infrastructure, upgrade the sewer system, build
more parks, enhance resiliency and other community
We already have a talented technology workforce
which drew Amazon’s attention in the fi rst place. More
than 330,000 New Yorkers currently work in the tech
ecosystem, more than currently work in Silicon Valley.
Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island is preparing the next
generation of tech leaders, boosting our talent pool.
Th ose who criticized the Amazon deal talked as if the
$3 billion in incentives was a gift from a pot of money that
could be redirected to other purposes, but that was fi ction.
In truth, New York was off ering performance-based
tax incentives based on Amazon’s success in creating
jobs and economic activity. If Amazon failed to meet
its targets, it would not have received the breaks. For
the most part, they were getting lower taxes, not grants.
Th e exception was a $500 million state grant that would
have ensured that the new campus would be built with
Moreover, the tax incentives are programs available
to promote job creation and investment by any company
choosing to come here. When Amazon left , we lost
$27 billion in anticipated revenue, and yet that much
talked about $3 billion is non-existent without Amazon
there to pay taxes.
Meanwhile, our state is hurting. Governor Cuomo
reports that state revenues are more than $2 billion
below projections and the 2017 Republican tax law’s
cap on the federal deduction of state and local taxes
will continue to hurt New Yorkers and push wealth out
of the state. Having Amazon in New York would have
helped generate critical revenue.
Th e things that made Amazon choose New York are
still here. Th e city is a growing high-tech powerhouse
with the talent, the infrastructure to cope with a large
company and the ability to assimilate 25,000 new workers
without signifi cant impact.
If we can demonstrate we would welcome them, I am
hopeful Amazon will reconsider its decision to leave.
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, who represents
a portion of western Queens and Manhattan, is the vice
chair designate of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic
A BAD RAP ON
Ocasio-Cortez is getting a bad rap
on Amazon HQ2.
I read your article on the Siena
College Poll results in which
Ocasio-Cortez was apportioned the
most blame for Amazon HQ2 leaving
Long Island City. In full disclosure,
I live the Congresswoman’s
district, and I am an avid supporter
of the Congresswoman. I also
worked on Wall Street for 20 years
and now have my own business
consulting fi rm.
I believe she was correct in pointing
out the deal terms were terrible.
I blame Governor Cuomo and
Mayor de Blasio for negotiating a
terrible deal and doing it in secret
without input from the community.
I also want to ask the question as
to why Congresswoman Carolyn
Maloney is getting a pass on this.
Amazon HQ2 is in her district.
Where is she and where has her
When Amazon fi rst started over
20 years ago, they incurred losses
and were able to carry those losses
forward and apply them to future
earnings and profi tability to reduce
their taxes. Th ey have been receiving
tax breaks throughout their history.
Why is pointing out that they
are extremely profi table and then
asking them to be “a good corporate
citizen” and fi nance their own
growth a negative thing?
I believe that Amazon locating
to LIC would have been a net positive,
but the deal was terrible. It
should be reworked if it can be. But
I have every belief that businesses
still want to come to New York
City and that this is just a bump in
\I have traveled throughout the
country in my career on Wall Street
and in my private business. New
York City is still the mecca, and
folks from throughout the country
and world want to be here and they
will continue to come here.
Th e hand-wringing about scaring
off business is just hogwash. Th at
always happens whenever large corporate
interests, and especially the
large real estate players in NYC,
don’t get what they want. Th ey try
to instill fear in the populace. Th is
too shall pass and NYC and LIC
will continue to grow and expand
over the long term. It’s in our DNA.
Joseph DelliCarpini, Astoria
A recent Quinnipiac survey
brought out that 41% of those living
in New York according to survey
can’t aff ord to live here. New
York is pricing out the middle class.
According to the survey, these are
some of the average cost: 1 gallon of
milk, $4.43; draft beer, $7; average
cost of Uber ride, $22; movie ticket,
$16; meal for two, $80; a Manhattan
apartment, $3,116 a month; an outer
borough one-bedroom apartment,
$1,198; and the list goes on.
In my opinion, these higher costs
are causing many to become homeless.
My wife and myself are on
Social Security and barely make it.
I’m going to be 70 years old this
year and I am still working. I guess
I will work till I get too sick to work
anymore. Now what’s wrong with
Th e old and the poor are suff ering
the most. Something must be done
or many that can will more out of
Political activist Jimmy McMillan
once said, “Th e rent is too damn
high!” Ain’t that the truth.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.,
Glen Oaks Village
ON TREE CARE
Editor’s note: Th e following is an
open letter by the author to City
Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.
I am writing to you with the following
suggestion, one that I hope
you will seriously consider and discuss
with all of the Borough Parks
commissioners at your next staff
I strongly feel that it would be
an excellent idea for each of the
five-borough Forestry Division
offi ces to run open seminars for the
public to better educate and inform
them about how the forestry division
works in each borough.
Many people are not familiar with
the tree risk assessment management
program or the citywide block
pruning program, both of which
are excellent programs that help to
rate and maintain the thousands of
trees in our parks, playgrounds, and
along our streets. Also, the public
needs clarifi cation as to which city
agency is responsible for the thousands
of trees that grow along our
arterial roadways, including secondary
as well as tertiary roads. Th e
public needs to know more about
these very vital programs.
Offi cials from each forestry offi ce
could speak at these open meetings,
as well as pass out pertinent literature
about how the city’s urban forest
is always being maintained on a
daily basis. Hopefully these seminars
could be implemented by this
coming summer or fall. It certainly
would open up more positive
lines of communication between
the public and each of the forestry
divisions in each borough. Our
pruners, climbers, and tree inspectors,
as well as the offi ce staff in each
forestry borough offi ce are dedicated
men and women who are always
working to improve the quality and
care of our 666,134 trees citywide,
of which 234,000 are in the borough
of Queens alone.
John Amato, Fresh Meadows
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necessarily those of this newspaper
or its staff .
JACKSON HEIGHTS STREET RENAMING //
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