Subsidy Sheet: Gov Hochul doubles down on discredited business subsidies


In her State of the State Governor Hochul doubled down on spending billions in state taxpayer funds on discredited business subsidy programs. The Governor brought up business subsidies 18 times, and proposed 15 new or expanded programs. She didn’t say how much these programs will cost and how big they will be. But one thing is for sure: they will be a waste of taxpayer funds and reduce public investment in schools, roads, and clean water.

Among Governor Hochul’s worst ideas are reanimating the failed Start-up NY subsidy, expanding the highly dubious “Green” CHIPS subsidy, doling out taxpayer funds to video game makers, and creating a 421-a successor. Read our full analysis.

“Green” CHIPS ain’t green – excellent reporting in the Times Union shows that New York’s $10 billion subsidy may make it harder for the state to meet its climate goals.

The story by TU’s Rebekah Ward should be read in full, but here are some highlights:

  • A new GlobalFoundries fab will require three times as much energy as before. How is this “green”?
  • Fabs can buy bogus green indulgences to off-set their polluting sins: under draft regulations, if “Green” CHIPS recipients fail to meet their own sustainability goals, they can donate to “a local non-profit organizations of related mission” to keep collecting the tax breaks.
  • New York households will pay five times more for power than Micron. Residential energy prices are roughly $233 per mega-watt hour in NY, whereas Micron will pay roughly $41 per megawatt-hour. Industrial companies pay an average of $76 per hour. 
  • Increasing demand from chip fabs could lead to power brown-outs. NY’s power grid is already strained as the state is deactivating fossil fuel sources faster than it’s installing clean energy sources. 

In other words, the “green” label is pure chipaganda. 

The state continues to greenwash in statements to press, saying that the program is environmentally friendly, but there’s zero evidence that this is true. As our John Kaehny put it, “There’s really nothing green about Green CHIPS — it’s just complete, disingenuous nonsense.”

Corporate Welfare This Week

Fun fact: Vornado Realty Trust, which could receive over a billion in state-ordered property tax breaks for Penn Station redevelopment, acquired its name in 1959 when its predecessor, Two Guys discount stores, bought the manufacturer of the famous line of household fans.

If you got this from a friend, sign up here. Subsidy Sheet is written by Tom Speaker and Elizabeth Marcello, and edited by John Kaehny.