Four Subsidy Stories You Might Have Missed This Week


1. Google has opted to not take NYC or NYS tax breaks for its just renovated $2.1 billion building on the Lower West Side of Manhattan (The City). This is a welcome precedent that can be used by NYC government to deny subsidies to other businesses, and may be fall-out from Amazon’s failed HQ2. However, Google has received hundreds of millions in government subsidies for its data centers around the U.S.

[…] An official with Google confirmed Tuesday that the megacompany will not be seeking ICAP or any other available breaks. A company spokesman declined to comment further […] Both ICAP and REAP offer tax breaks and other incentives encouraging companies to develop and invest in areas across the city, and both were renewed by the state legislature last year through 2025 — even after coming under attack as corporate welfare during the heated fight over Amazon’s HQ2.

2. Governor Kathy Hochul says that the state will release its study of options for building a new Buffalo Bills stadium (Buffalo News). However, this is not the Bills-commissioned study that advocates such as Paul Wolf of the New York Coalition for Open Government have demanded be released.

A study on the best site for a new Buffalo Bills stadium will wrap up soon and the state will release the document to the public, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday. […] This is a new, state-commissioned analysis and not the study produced in 2019 on behalf of the Bills that largely remains hidden from public view, despite some details leaking out, officials confirmed.

3. At Boondoggle, Pat Garofalo writes that Facebook has released over$750 million in disclosed state and local tax subsidies, most of which have been for the data centers it’s celebrating with a new website.

[…] Here are the facts about Facebook and data centers that were left out: Facebook has received $785,491,326 in disclosed state and local subsidies, the vast bulk of which has been for its data centers. That includes a $355 million deal with Georgia, and $150 million packages from Utah and Texas. It’s currently planning an expansion in Oregon, where it’s already received $41 million and will surely be eligible for more under that state’s lucrative data center subsidy program.

4. Staff for accounting giants do stints at the Treasury Department, write tax rules that favor accounting giants, then return to work at accounting giants, according to the New York Times (hat tip to Revolving Door Projectfor covering!).

For six years, Audrey Ellis and Adam Feuerstein worked together at PwC, the giant accounting firm, helping the world’s biggest companies avoid taxes. […] In mid-2018, one of Mr. Feuerstein’s clients, an influential association of real estate companies, was trying to persuade government officials that its members should qualify for a new federal tax break. Mr. Feuerstein knew just the person to turn to for help. Ms. Ellis had recently joined the Treasury Department, and she was drafting the rules for this very deduction. […] That summer, Ms. Ellis met with Mr. Feuerstein and his client’s lobbyists. The next week, the Treasury granted their wish — a decision potentially worth billions of dollars to PwC’s clients.

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!