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Amazon HQ2 tax breaks have New Yorkers divided, poll finds

Nearly half the NYers polled opposed the $2.8B in incentives Amazon received, per the poll.

Even though a majority of New Yorkers approve

Even though a majority of New Yorkers approve of Amazon's Long Island City plans, the public is split on the tax breaks offered to the online giant, according to a new Quinnipiac University Poll. Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin

A majority of New Yorkers say they're OK with Amazon moving into Long Island City, though they are mixed on the concessions made to bring the tech giant to the Big Apple, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Roughly 57 percent of New Yorkers say they approve of the plan to bring HQ2 and its 25,000 jobs to Queens, according to the Quinnipiac University Poll. Support was high for responders from all five boroughs — the highest being Bronx with a 68 percent approval, and the lowest being Manhattan with a 54 percent approval.

Mary Snow, the polling analyst for the Quinnipiac University Poll, noted that New Yorkers are split on the concessions given to the Seattle based company, such as $3 billion in tax incentives, as part of its agreement with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio. About  46 percent of New Yorkers supported the breaks while 44 percent disapproved, the poll said. 

"While New Yorkers give the thumbs up to Amazon moving one of its new headquarters to Long Island City, they are divided over the sizable carrot offered to the online retail giant," Snow said in a statement.

The university interviewed 1,075 New York City voters between Nov. 27 and Dec 4 for its report. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points.

Cuomo and de Blasio negotiated with Amazon over the move without input from the state legislature or City Council. Although the state will review the plan, 79 percent of New Yorkers said the city should play a bigger role, according to the poll.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represent Long Island City and are exploring legal options to block the move, said the more New Yorkers learn about the deal, the less they like it. 

"New Yorkers are making clear they agree that too much inequality exists in our communities and giving billions of taxpayer dollars to trillion dollar corporations makes things worse, not better," they said in a joint statement. 


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