It was Chris Christie’s last major act as governor of New Jersey and, for a change, nearly everyone supported it: billions of dollars in tax breaks for Amazon if the tech and retail giant chooses to locate its second headquarters in Newark.
The tax incentive package, signed into law by Christie on Thursday afternoon and worth as much as $5 billion, is the latest move — and one of the biggest — in a scramble by nearly every state in the union to lure Amazon with tax breaks and other promises. Different states and cities are taking different approaches, despite concerns in some quarters about triggering a race to the bottom with taxpayer-funded incentives for corporations.
Tax breaks are generally good. (Though they can be crony – such as here.) Subsidies are bad. This package is likely a mix.
Still, Amazon would be smart to consider a region which is centrally located, with a lower cost of living, and relatively little red tape. New Jersey’s on the edge of the continent, with a very high cost of living (in most places), and is choked with red tape.
But who knows, maybe the crony deal will be enough?