Four Subsidy Stories You Might Have Missed This Week


1. Buffalo’s Investigative Post finally got its hands on the details of the $1.9 billion subsidy package New York offered Samsung to build a new chip fab in upstate Genesee County. Samsung ultimately chose Taylor, Texas, just outside Austin, after stoking yet another grotesque bidding war between local taxpayers.

In 2017, Investigative Post reported that New York doled out more money than any state in the nation to support megadeals, or subsidy packages worth at least $50 million, dating to the year 2000. The collective value of those deals was $11.8 billion.

2. The new Buffalo Bills stadium wasn’t in Governor Hochul’s State of the State, but the Buffalo News reports that the project is moving full steam ahead. The stadium could cost taxpayers a billion dollars. (Hat tip to Liz Marcello at Citizens Budget Commission for sharing!)

Hochul, a Western New York native, has repeatedly said she intends to keep the Bills here and as recently as Dec. 20 said about team owners Terry and Kim Pegula: “If Orchard Park is their first choice, their only choice, it’s Orchard Park, and we’ll make it happen.”

3. In an op-ed, Michael Kink and Charles Khan write about New York’s history of corporate welfare and the need for investments that benefit New Yorkers (Times Union).

We don’t need the same constellation of billionaires, big corporations and lobbyists that have turned “economic development” into a $10 billion slush fund of public money used to grow the fortunes of the ultra-rich. We need lawmakers and Hochul to step up and use public resources to benefit the public.

4. New York claims to have met its goals for state contracts that go to minority or women-led businesses (MWBEs), but the Buffalo News reports that there are still questions about fraud in contractor reporting. In the op-ed section, Rod Watson also writes that NY doesn’t need fraud to help MWBEs.

“I sense there’s a lot of fraud,” said Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn Jr. “The intent of the law, which is to help minority and women businesses get their foot in the door, is being criminalized.”

The NY State Senate will hold a hearing on the effectiveness of NY business subsidies on Friday, January 14th at 10am, following a request from Reinvent Albany and five groups. Don’t miss it!

There were a lot of stories on the Bills from over the break:

And check out this great story in New York Focus about the campaign to end fossil fuel subsidies in New York.

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!