Cuomo makes power-play against state board linked to Amazon’s departure

Governor included a budget provision affirming his authority over Public Authorities Control Board

Apr.April 01, 2019 08:15 AM
State Senator Mike Gianaris and Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images)

State Senator Mike Gianaris and Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images)

Part of this year’s budget in Albany appears designed to help Gov. Andrew Cuomo avoid another Amazon-type debacle.

The tech giant backed out of plans to build a large campus in Long Island City, Queens after state Senate leaders nominated Sen. Mike Gianaris, a critic of the Amazon plan, to the Public Authorities Control Board, which needed to approve some of the state incentives that were part of the Amazon deal.

The law currently says the board can only approve a project if it determines that it has enough funding commitments. New language says that if the board does not vote based on this standard, it has violated the public trust, according to the Wall Street Journal. It also stresses that the governor can remove a member from the board if he or she threatens to vote based on a different standard.

Cuomo said this change is necessary to further economic development in the state and prevent legislators from holding up projects for reasons other than insufficient funding commitments. The Amazon campus was to bring 25,000 new jobs to New York and would generate roughly $27 billion in tax revenue over a decade. Amazon was criticized for seeking $3 billion in state and city tax credits.

Zephyr Teachout, a law professor at Fordham who challenged Cuomo in a 2014 primary, told the Journal that the governor’s move was “a gross power grab.”

“This is a major structural change in power in New York, giving way too much to an already power-bloated executive—and should not be allowed at all, but especially as a dead-of-night provision,” she said. [WSJ] – Eddie Small

Related Articles

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator James Skoufis (Credit: Getty Images, NY Senate)

Owners of some residential properties can’t hide behind
LLCs anymore

Governor Andrew Cuomo and 538 Johnson Avenue in Brooklyn (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

Landlords take another hit: Cuomo signs expanded Loft Law

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Getty Images)

Cuomo wants to exempt NYC from prevailing wage bill

The Lord & Taylor building at at 424-434 Fifth Avenue and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (Credit: Google Maps, Getty Images)

Amazon mulls buy of WeWork’s Lord & Taylor building

It’s a good time to be an industrial broker. Just ask them. (Credit: iStock)

Why all the kids suddenly want to become industrial brokers

From left: Slate Property Group's David Schwartz, Patrick Jenkins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate majority leader Stewart Cousins, and Julia Salazar (Credit: Getty Images)

Two takeaways for real estate from Albany’s power weekend

A photo illustration of Michael Gianaris and Jeff Bezos (Credit: Getty Images, Wikipedia, iStock)

Gianaris wants to reform NYC tax credit programs that drew Amazon

(Illustration by Neil Webb)

One year later, Amazon Effect still felt in LIC, citywide