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Long Island GOP Scrutinize Tax Breaks For Amazon Warehouse


Some Republican lawmakers in Suffolk County criticized a quasi-public agency for handing out tax incentives during the pandemic to the developer of a new Amazon warehouse in Westhampton Beach.  The GOP lawmakers want over $2 million in tax breaks to be rescinded, as municipal governments across the country struggle.

The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency included an $800,000 property tax reduction. Meanwhile, the county continues to grapple with budget holes, and dozens of small businesses have closed their doors for good due to the pandemic.

County Legislator Rob Trotta said the online retail giant, Amazon, does not need a tax break when the county’s budget is at its breaking point.

“We’re broke, we’re cutting bus routes, we're cutting all kinds of things, but yet we're giving tax breaks to companies that made $11 billion profit last year," Trotta said. "It makes no logical sense.”

Trotta and Legislator Anthony Piccirillo said the struggling mom and pop shops on Main Street need relief, not corporate giants like Amazon.

“We have small businesses, mom and pop shops from Melville to Montauk, that are going to close their doors forever. We have a ticking time bomb as far as the economic devastation from COVID-19, and these businesses are struggling, and here we have a business that made $11 billion last year getting a $2.3 million tax break," Piccirillo said.

Piccirillo and Trotta said Amazon does not need a tax break when the county’s budget is at its breaking point.

The Suffolk County IDA says the approval was thoroughly reviewed, and the project will create jobs and attract business.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.