Four Subsidy Stories You Might Have Missed This Week


1. NY schools can take a stand against corporate welfare, say Good Jobs First’s Connor Rigney and Christine Wen in a Syracuse Post-Standard op-ed. They mention the organization’s recent report showing that NY state schools lost at least $377 million to corporate tax breaks in 2019.

Proponents of corporate tax incentives repeat the arguments that these can support new jobs, stimulate local economic growth, jumpstart business expansions and revitalize distressed neighborhoods. In reality, a wide body of research has shown either many abatements fail to achieve their stated goals, or the development would have been done without abatements. It’s high time economic development agencies think more broadly about the well-being of a community.

2. Governor Cuomo’s new Empire Station Proposal amounts to a state raid on the New York City tax base to subsidize real estate developer political donors, writes Nicole Gelinas in the New York Post.

No one knows how much of a property-tax discount Vornado will eventually get. But nearby Hudson Yards got about a 40 percent discount on property taxes, amounting to at least $1.4 billion. City bailouts of the project’s debt total another $400 million.

3. Genesee County is reportedly still in the running for Samsung’s new chip fab plant, according to Buffalo Business First. This contradicts a report from a Korean trade journal

Samsung continues to consider an incentive-heavy offer from local and state officials with the end result of bringing a $17 billion chipmaking plant to Genesee County. […] The company confirmed that the 1,250-acre site on Route 63 in the Town of Alabama remains on the short list along with locations in Phoenix and Austin.

4. At Boondoggle, Pat Garofalo writes about how state and local governments are helping pay for the billionaire space race.

-Blue Origin: More than $72 million in state and local subsidies, of which $65 million came from Florida and $7 million came from Washington State.
-SpaceX: About $3 million in state/local subsidies, nearly all from Texas, as well as $106 million in federal loans and loan guarantees.
-Virgin Galactic: About half a million in state subsidies from California.

If you got this from a friend, sign up here. Subsidy Sheet is written by Tom Speaker, Policy Analyst at Reinvent Albany. Please send questions and tips to tom [at] We look forward to hearing from you!