Hit & Run

Ira Stoll on New York's Corporate Welfare Handouts

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For many Americans, the holiday season means gift-wrapped packages arriving from Amazon.com. But for long-suffering New York taxpayers, writes Ira Stoll, this year the giving is going in the opposite direction. The state is giving the Seattle-based online retailer $5 million in tax credits "to help lure" an Amazon office with 500 jobs to midtown Manhattan. What's more, that $5 million is in addition to $2 million in New York state tax credits already awarded to Amazon for a Brooklyn fashion-photo studio. And it raises some issues that come up whenever government at any level decides to reward a business with special tax treatment.