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City Council Introduces Bill To Prevent Future Amazon-Like Deals

December 21, 2018 - 3:43 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The City Council proposed legislation Friday to prevent anymore closed-door deals like the one that brought Amazon to Long Island City.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Sugerman reports, Amazon’s second headquarters coming to Queens was done in secret with a non-disclosure agreement, meaning elected officials were unable to detail the deal until it was over.

Now, city council members say: “We don’t want to do it again.”

Councilman Brad Lander, of Brooklyn, introduced the bill with three others, hoping to prohibit non-disclosure agreements in the future.

Dozens of cities around the country competed to offer the best deal in order to bring Amazon’s new headquarters to their areas before the retail giant settled on Long Island City and Arlington, Virginia.

“Cities had an incentive to race to the bottom, to say 'we'll give you bigger tax breaks.' I think it's pretty clear that we offered more in tax breaks than we needed to,” Lander said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio offered $3 billion in incentives on the promise that Amazon would bring in 25,000 jobs.

When asked if laws against non-disclosure agreements could hurt New York in the future, Lander said: “No.” He added that New York is always a contender, no matter what.