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New Yorkers Aren’t Happy About A Specific Aspect Of The City’s Agreement With Amazon—And We Can See Why

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Some people say you don’t get rich by spending money — or at least that’s what billionaire Jeff Bezos seems to believe.

With a net worth around $140 billion dollars there is almost nothing the Amazon CEO couldn’t buy, but why spend money when you don’t have to? Save a few million dollars here and there and soon it really starts to add up.

Bezos’ frugal philosophy is angering New York taxpayers, though, who as part of a new agreement will be footing the bill to construct a helipad for Bezos at Amazon’s new headquarters in Queens.

Since Amazon announced plans to open up a second company headquarters, more than 200 cities across the United States, Canada, and Mexico have been bending over backward to try and lure in the retail giant.

It’s not hard to see why. With Amazon promising 50,000 high-paying jobs and $5 billion in local investments, the massive project would be an economic boon to whatever city was chosen.

After more than a year of searching, the company announced it would be splitting its new HQ2 between Crystal City, Virginia, and Queens, New York. But with the cities offering billions in tax breaks, fee reductions, relocation grants, and other incentives, Amazon may be getting the better end of the deal.

One of the incentives New York offered is a new helipad for Bezos and company — all paid for by taxpayers.

Tucked into the 32-page memorandum of understanding between New York and Amazon is a promise by the city to “assist in securing access to a helipad” on or near the development sites. Virginia has included a similar clause in their agreement with Amazon.

According to the agreement, the helipad is only to be used by Amazon executives, and the company is limited to 120 landings per year but, in a city plagued by transportation issues, it’s not much of a consolation.

As subway infrastructure continues to crumble, New Yorkers were less than happy about subsidizing luxury incentives for billionaires.

And people could think of far better uses for public funds.

But subsidized helipads might be the least of New Yorkers’ problems once Amazon starts moving into the neighborhood.

Of course, Bezos could probably avoid the public outcry if he promised to share.

H/T – Twitter, Mashable, Huffpost


Written by Dennis Matthew Livesey

Matt is a writer, designer, and native New Yorker. He has worked in film, where he enjoyed a brief career as a stand-in for Ian Holm; finance, where he pretended to understand his job, and real estate, where nothing remarkable happened. He writes about science, technology, and media. His work includes magazine articles, one published book, and the looming inevitability of the second.