Poll: most do not support Amazon HQ2 offerings

Amazon surprised the audience on February 14 by announcing the cancellation of its HQ2 project in New York even before it was launched.

The company has waived an agreement to install part of its second headquarters – HQ2 – in New York, in exchange for a $ 10 billion total tax relief it would receive over 10 years. The company has invoked resistance from local and local politicians to rethink the deal.

Some surveys, such as those from INSIDER, Siena College, and HarrisX (sponsored by Amazon), have generally shown public support for Amazon's coming into Queens, but responses have been split when mentionned.

Read more: Most Americans want Amazon's QG2 to come to their city

A new INSIDER survey conducted with SurveyMonkey Audience could help explain why. The survey asked 1,117 respondents what would be the best use of $ 3 billion in tax credits: to give a large company to open a large office, to several medium-sized businesses to open offices, to existing businesses of or residents of the area to encourage spending.

An Amazon office entrance in New York.
AP / Mark Lennihan

The transaction style negotiated between Amazon and New York – $ 3 billion in tax credits for a new large office – accounted for only about 4% of the votes cast in the INSIDER poll. It was the least popular answer, including "I do not know", which garnered just over 12% of the vote.

The most popular answer by far was favorable to the granting of tax credits to residents, who won the majority of the vote, more than 45%. Next gave them to existing businesses, with more than 20%. And giving credits to medium-sized companies received 18% of the votes. The survey had a margin of error of about 3 percentage points. These results remained stable, regardless of whether the respondent reported living in urban, rural or suburban areas.

There were some differences between the fact that more liberal and more conservative respondents would allocate tax credits, but they did not change the results.

Conservative respondents were a little crazier than the Liberals in giving a single big business a $ 3 billion welcome mat, but only 7% of moderately or very conservative respondents favored this option.

Tax credits for existing businesses have remained very popular, with one in five thinking it would be the best option. Moderately or very liberal respondents were in favor of granting tax credits to residents eight percentage points less than their conservative counterparts, who were in favor of granting credit several times over. points to several new medium-sized companies.

Overall, however, the question transcended politics: a small fraction of respondents believe that the best use of this type of tax credit is that of a large corporation.

Long Island City, Queens.
AP / Mark Lennihan

Even those who strongly supported the agreement with Amazon seemed to believe that granting tax credits to a large company would be the best choice. Later in the survey, we presented the bulk of the Amazon deal: $ 3 billion in tax credits for 25,000 jobs in a new headquarters.

Of those who strongly supported this transaction, only 10% thought that a large company was the best beneficiary of such a tax credit when it was presented with others. options.

At the same time, 40% said residents would be the best recipient, 26% indicated several medium-sized businesses and 19% indicated existing businesses.

What is clear is that, given the option to give $ 3 billion in tax credits, people would rather see something other than an agreement that looks like New York – and then canceled – with Amazon. This survey confirms the position of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that incentives of $ 3 billion should be used for other purposes.

"It's fair to ask why we do not invest capital for public use, why we do not give tax relief to workers," Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. a series of tweets on Tuesday night.

Previously, she had suggested that money could be used more effectively than tax credits. The idea was rejected as "nonsense" by some on Twitter who assumed that she did not understand how these credits work.

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