The American Booksellers Association is strongly encouraging New York City booksellers to submit comments to the New York City Council to express any concerns, criticisms, and questions they may have about the city’s deal with Amazon to establish a headquarters in Long Island City.
The City Council’s Finance Committee will hold a hearing titled “Does the Amazon Deal Deliver for New York City Residents?” on Wednesday, January 30, which will be focused on the financial incentives and tax breaks that New York City offered to the company. While the council is not taking public testimony at this hearing, it is accepting public comments on social media, using the hashtag #AmazonAnswersNYC, and via its web form. According to the City Council website, the comments “may inform and shape the discussion at the hearing.”
“The city plans to redirect the taxpayer dollars of New York’s independent business owners to support one of their biggest competitors, which happens to have a history of evading taxes and suppressing competition,” said Dave Grogan, ABA’s director of ABFE, Advocacy and Public Policy. “It is thus especially important that the voices of booksellers are heard in the January 30 discussion on financial incentives. Likewise, New York State has offered massive incentives to the company, including an up to 1.2 billion tax break and a cash grant of $325 million.”
New York State booksellers can reach out to their state representatives to share any concerns, criticisms, and questions about the deal. New York City booksellers are also encouraged to raise their concerns to their council members. To be briefed by ABA’s advocacy team in advance of meeting with your council member, contact ABA Advocacy and Public Policy Coordinator Maria Peroni.