Letter to the editor: Amazon tax breaks

June 24, 2018 GMT

Local lawmakers are touting the city’s chances of winning Amazon’s second headquarters, better known as HQ2, but no one is being transparent or candid about the tax breaks and other corporate welfare the city offered the tech giant as part of a sweetheart deal.

Pittsburgh and other Pennsylvania cities have a long history of over-promising and under-delivering when it comes to using taxpayer dollars to attract large corporations in the name of economic development. Gov. Tom Wolf seems content to repeat these mistakes, already having promised more than $1 billion in tax giveaways to lure Amazon. But Wolf does not say where he will get that $1 billion.

Pennsylvania has already given out more in corporate tax breaks than any other state over the past decade. Is your small business getting the same tax break? Enough is enough.

After years of raw deals, why should we trust our lawmakers that a deal with Amazon will be any different? If Pittsburgh lawmakers are going to be giving billions of our dollars to one of the richest companies in the world, we have a right to know what is in the deal before they empty our wallets.

Elias P. Kazas

Pennsbury Village

The writer is owner of Mahoney’s Restaurant and Lounge, Downtown.