By Arnold W. Drucker
On Thursday, December 29, 2022, Newsday reported that the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) confirmed that Amazon has repaid nearly $2.5 million in tax breaks “because it cannot fulfill a promise to create 150 new jobs within three years at a recently-opened Syosset warehouse.”
In August 2022, the IDA voted to rescind a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) that was previously awarded to Amazon for its last-mile warehouse project at Syosset Park located at 305 Robbins Lane in Syosset, and to begin clawing back any taxpayer-funded incentives that have already been provided. The clawback followed Amazon’s announced plans to undercut its agreed-upon commitment to creating 150 new jobs in Syosset by closing its Bethpage facility and moving those workers to Syosset.
Amazon’s repayment of nearly $2.5 million is a victory for Nassau County taxpayers and a triumph for integrity and common sense. Nassau residents should never have been asked to pick up any part of Amazon’s bill in the first place. Their brazen end-run around a commitment to creating 150 new jobs in Syosset was an outrage and a broken promise that simply could not be tolerated. Amazon’s disregard for our community further reinforced my long-held belief that it did not need or deserve Nassau taxpayer assistance.
Through its actions, the Nassau County IDA has sent a clear message that businesses — no matter how large — will be held accountable for their commitments to Nassau taxpayers.
Arnold W. Drucker (D-Plainview) is a member of the Nassau County Legislature.