Big tax breaks to lure Amazon’s HQ2 won’t pay off

A millennial group backed by the conservative Koch brothers is usually warning cities of which giving Amazon multimillion-dollar tax breaks for its fresh headquarters might not pay off.

Generation Opportunity, an activist group within the Koch network, has been speaking out against cities offering Amazon tax breaks in addition to some other incentives to encourage the e-commerce giant to build its second headquarters in their areas.

The Koch brothers, Charles in addition to David, are billionaire businessmen who are megadonors for the Republican Party in addition to conservative causes.

Their conglomerate, Koch Industries, has received over $430 million in state in addition to federal subsidies since 1990, according to watchdog group Great Jobs First.

David Barnes, policy director at Generation Opportunity, argued on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” on Thursday of which history shows massive infrastructure products like these don’t always work the way local governments intend.

“When businesses get these breaks in addition to special deals via governments, you see they promise a bunch of jobs of which they usually can’t deliver; they promise a bunch of economic growth of which doesn’t happen; in addition to then once their 5-, 10-, 15-year deal has expired, then … they’re looking to either re-up those special agreements or they’re going to move somewhere else,” Barnes said.

Barnes used sports stadium subsidies as a leading example of these pitfalls. Wealthy teams get cities to build them fresh stadiums on the cheap, then pick up in addition to move elsewhere for more subsidies, he said.

Generation Opportunity’s main goal is usually to rally citizens around the problem in addition to demand of which politicians curb special handouts in addition to bonuses to otherwise rich corporations, Barnes said.

The leader of the group, which consists mainly of 18- to 34-year-olds, even said of which he would likely not shy away via working with Democrats to prevent Amazon via receiving subsidies.

Echoing Democratic sentiments of merit-based, un-incentivized business competition, Barnes said his group would likely “absolutely” join hands with Democrats to push its policy goals forward.

“Whether This specific’s Amazon or Foxconn or Carrier, any of these different examples where you have governments picking one industry of which they want to get in in addition to giving them special deals … just doesn’t make sense. This specific’s not fair,” Barnes said.

“As a millennial organization, our generation truly opposes these kinds of handouts in addition to special deals,” he said.

An Amazon spokesperson emphasized the company’s investment in Seattle, where Amazon’s main headquarters are located, in an email to CNBC:

“Amazon has invested over $4 billion in its urban campus in Seattle in addition to paid more than $25 billion in compensation to its employees over the last seven years. We estimate these investments resulted in a different $38 billion to the city’s economy via 2010 to 2016 in addition to created more than 50,000 additional jobs on top of our direct hires.”

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