"This remains the single largest and most outrageous corporate giveaway on the books in New York today, bar none," said E.J. McMahon, founder of the Empire Center for New York Policy, a conservative think tank in Albany.
"It's been a blown opportunity basically," McMahon said.
He also had concerns about $850 million the state put aside to settle a dispute with the federal government over Medicaid payouts, and suggested using more of the money for core infrastructure costs to hold down growing debt costs.
McMahon was particularly troubled by the use of settlement funds to cover annual operating costs, saying, "That's not something they should do under any circumstances. ... The question is whether they will do it again next year."
As E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy noted last week, the proposed Amazon subsidies will go a long way toward indemnifying the company for the costs of the featherbedding construction work rules sacred in New York but barely existent elsewhere, and which almost certainly will govern construction of the Queens half of HQ2.
E.J. McMahon, of the Empire Center for Public Policy, expressed surprise that the project would not have to go before the PACB.
“It’s not clear to me why that is or is not the case,” McMahon said, adding there should be clear guidelines in place.
The research director of the Empire Center for Public Policy, E.J. McMahon, argued state lawmakers should give themselves a stronger voice in how the state decides to award such incentive packages.
"They should not be giving (the governor) the discretion to do things like this, but they long have," McMahon said. "This is a giveaway to one of the world's most successful companies."
The upstate economy continues to stagnate, with consequent financial and social problems. The downstate economy continues to boom, with different problems and its own warning signs. No surprise. This latest evidence of New York's economic reality comes from the Empire Center and its estimable grey eminence E.J. McMahon. It's a well-crafted analysis and consistent with dozens of other such reports.
To those who don’t get north of the city’s suburbs, Cuomo’s talk of an “even” economic recovery across the state may sound fine. But a new report from the Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon highlights the ugly facts.
It’s a tale of two states — upstate and downstate.
Upstate New York’s economy has added just 6.3 percent more jobs since 2010, among the worst performances in the nation, according to a study released Tuesday.