The Real Deal New York

New Yorkers favor Amazon deal despite lawmaker opposition, poll says

A new survey followed reports that the company may reconsider
February 12, 2019 10:00AM

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Michael Gianaris with Long Island City (Credit: Getty Images)

Even as Amazon’s plan for a campus in Long Island City faces strong opposition from local lawmakers and activists, the majority of voters in New York City and the state support the move, a new poll claims.

About 56 percent of voters across the state support the project, according to a new poll by the Siena Research Institute. Roughly 58 percent of city residents support the plan, while 35 percent opposed it when told about the job creation and incentives, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“Upstate voters are evenly divided but suburban voters strongly approve and in New York City, where some local activists have voiced opposition, voters approve of the deal by 23 points,” Siena Research Institute’s poll director said in a statement.

The sample included 778 respondents.

Local opposition to the project has ramped up, in large part because Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio offered up to $3 billion in tax incentives to the tech giant, one of the richest corporations on earth. The polling follows a report last week that said Amazon was reconsidering its decision due to the opposition. Since Amazon is yet to lease or purchase office space for the project, it would be able to withdraw, the previous report said.

Democratic freshman U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose district borders the proposed Amazon site, has rallied against the tax breaks for the project. This month, the New York State Senate appointed a vocal critic, Sen. Michael Gianaris, to a key board that could veto Amazon’s plan. Gianaris will be among three voting members of the Public Authorities Control Board — and any voting member has the power to block projects that come before it.

A later report said the story about Amazon reconsidering “had gone too far” and that Amazon “had no plans to back out.” [WSJ] — Meenal Vamburkar