Spotlight On Economic Development
In this section we shine a light on more than a dozen large, subsidized projects that are especially wasteful and lack public benefit. We've categorized our in-depth research and analysis about these projects in the sectors below.
The Bloomberg Administration has been very generous to what we call “sport entertainment corporations” by financing new baseball stadiums for the Yankees, Mets and providing subsidies for the yet to be completed basketball arena for the Nets at Brooklyn Atlantic Yards. A new football stadium for the Jets on Manhattan’s Far West Side did not become a reality, but due to changes in land-use the area it is expected to become a new commercial and residential neighborhood being financed with numerous tax breaks. Not to be left out, Madison Square Garden is the beneficiary of a property tax break thanks to an arrangement made by former Mayor Koch.
Major Corporate Giveaways
Since our launch in 2000, Good Jobs New York has researched and posted on our website information on corporate subsidies over $1 million. Details on those subsidized firms are available in our Database of Deals. But, not all subsidy packages are created equal. The subsidy packages to the firms detailed in this section caught our attention thanks to a combination of factors including the egregious nature of the giveaway and access to public information allowing for analysis. We will update this information or add new firms when necessary.
Reconstruction Watch was developed after September 11, 2001 as a project of Good Jobs New York and was intended to assist low and moderate income New Yorkers and the groups that assist them to better understand and influence the allocation of federal economic development resources. Through its research and publications, Reconstruction Watch provided timely information that helped a diverse groups of New Yorkers to participate in the rebuilding of our city.
Recovery Zone Facility Bonds
The Recovery Zone Facility Bond (RZFB) program was created in 2009 by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and expired December 31, 2010. The bonds were allocated by the Capital Resource Corporation, a sister to the Industrial Development Agency. Because of the unique nature of these resources and due to the interest of various constituency based groups about how the bonds would be allocated, GJNY tracked RZFB proposals.
Unless a low-income neighborhood is void of basic services, allocating subsidies for large retail projects, is an unwise policy. Retailers, especially big-box stores and national retailers, often rely on part-time employees to keep costs low and provide little or no benefits. Despite New York City’s large population and diverse customer base, in recent years, officials have used public resources to develop and plan new retail destinations. In some cases, these proposals replace existing, successful retail operations. This section highlights some of these efforts. To learn more about the Administration’s plans in Queens, visit the Economic Development Corporation, Flushing Coalition for Responsible Development and Willets Point United.
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GJNY takes a close look at the proposed subsidy package--worth nearly $130 million--for Fresh Direct to relocate to the South Bronx. In early 2012, Fresh Direct started a bidding war between New York City and New Jersey officials when it threatened to leave its current home in Long Island City, Queens. Learn more about the subsidies, job promises and the efforts of residents to block the on-line grocery retailer's move to their waterfront.
As government aid begins to flow into areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy, Good Jobs New York will provide analysis and recommendations regarding these resources that promote a transparent and equitable allocation of funds that go to individuals and businesses that need it most.
Our database contains information on thousands of companies that received economic development subsidies in New York City.
Learn about major corporate giveaways to the financial industry, sports facilities and retail developments in New York City.