Gianaris and Van Bramer Opposed Amazon, But Sold New Yorkers Out to Hollywood

Bribing companies to do business in New York is a proven failure. New Yorkers pay millions for corporations to set up shop, but they get nothing in return. This “economic development” strategy only persists because it allows lawmakers to funnel work to friends, tout pet projects, and score political points.

New Yorkers thought they had a chance to eliminate these handouts once and for all after the massive opposition to the state’s latest corporate welfare scheme – Amazon. Citizens even had a number of lawmakers on their side, including Senator Michael Gianaris and City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

Sadly for New Yorkers, it looks like Gianaris and Van Bramer don’t care if taxpayers are handing over their money to the wealthy elite. They only spoke out against Amazon because it was politically convenient to do so. In reality, they welcome the same back-door bribes to film and television production companies.

The New York Post points out that both lawmakers have touted the New York State Film Tax Credit. In fact, Gianaris was an original sponsor of the program. In addition, the New York Post reports that Van Bramer has been a “major booster” of city subsidies for the film industry.

New Yorkers dole out more than $420 million to Hollywood each year. And according to the state’s own data, New York gives out more in subsidies than it takes in from added economic activity. That’s because the production companies have the option to cash in their credits on receipt, or sell them to other entities that are not required to do business in New York.

New Yorkers are literally paying for companies to do business in other states.

Gianaris and Van Bramer may have stood up to Amazon, but they are quick to sell New Yorkers out when it is politically favorable. Several Hollywood hotshots have been major campaign donors to Gianaris, Van Bramer, and even Governor Cuomo. Plus, the unions that represent studio employees get a boost in dues when more movies and shows are filmed in New York.

Only Albany insiders and politically-favored companies are benefitting from these scams. The state will keep losing businesses thanks to these giveaways because lawmakers ignore the real causes of our sluggish economy, like high taxes and regulations. Will politicians ever learn that hand-picking companies to be successful won’t boost New York’s economy?

If you’re tired of Albany picking winners and losers, join Reclaim New York Initiative today!