NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday signed bipartisan legislation authorizing $5 billion in tax credits to lure Amazon to Newark, the city Christie’s administration designated as the state’s selection for the retail giant’s would-be headquarters.
The city itself is promising another $2 billion in tax breaks in exchange for what Amazon promises to be a headquarters creating 50,000 jobs.
New Jersey’s effort has been mostly in the open, going back to Christie’s letter outlining the tax credits while trying to get the candidates in last year’s gubernatorial contest to agree to them.
More than 15 states and cities, including Chicago, Cleveland and Las Vegas, refused requests to release the offers they made to the technology giant. Among the reasons included that it was a “trade secret” or “confidential.”
Democratic Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, who takes office next week, says he supports Amazon coming to New Jersey but did not explicitly back the tax credit legislation.
Others on the right and left have attacked the tax credits.
Republican Assemblyman Jay Webber sharply criticized the legislation authorizing the credits in a floor speech, calling them a delayed Christmas present for Amazon. Webber called the credits the “height of crony capitalism.”
He instead called for lowering costs to business across the board to attract more businesses.
Last September, Amazon announced plans to open a new office center in Manhattan which New York officials said would create 2,000 finance, sales, marketing and information technology positions.
Amazon was offered up to $20 million in performance-based taxed credits through Empire State Development’s Excelsior Jobs Program to get the company into the 359,000-square-foot space at 5 Manhattan West.
The announcement follow’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo news on Sept. 6 about a new $100 million Amazon fulfillment center in the Global Logistics Park on the West Shore of Staten Island, which will support the creation of 2,250 full-time jobs.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)