As Amazon HQ contest continues, AFP pushes back against Christie’s “corporate handouts”

New Jersey’s multi-billion dollar flirtation with Amazon and its new second North American headquarters is making national headlines but also earning derision from critics of the Christie Administration’s jobs creation tactics.

On Tuesday, Americans for Prosperity-New Jersey (AFP-NJ) hit back at the $7 billion in tax incentives intended to lure eCommerce giant to Newark.

“Instead of relying on taxpayer-funded subsidies to lure Amazon, Governor Christie should rely on the strengths Newark already offers, like access to ports and freight corridors and its proximity to population centers like New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey has one of the most educated workforces in the country and our state is a prime location for Amazon,” opined AFP-NJ State Director Erica Jedynak. “Gov. Christie’s pitch shouldn’t rest on the backs of taxpayers. We can create jobs and improve our economy by creating a consistent, stable business climate with less burdensome regulations and making it easier for folks to start a business. Corporate handouts skew the system. We must work to level the playing field and give all businesses the chance to succeed, not just the ones that draw headlines.”

During his time in office, Governor Christie pledged more than $8 billion in corporate welfare deals while New Jersey endured eleven credit downgrades; a recent egregious example took the form of $82 million in tax credits to entice the Philadelphia 76ers to establish their new training facility in Camden.

Christie, unfazed by critics from both sides of the ideological divide, hailed the Amazon HQ hunt as “the last and biggest test for [his] Administration’s economic policies.”

“These two facts are clear: more job creating incentive programs are a proven success for New Jersians and New Jersey business, and Amazon just flat out works and makes sense in New Jersey,” said Christie during Monday’s presser in Newark. “In particular, with its thriving regional distribution centers here already, over 13,000 Amazon employees already working here in the State of New Jersey. And where we are here today, at Audible, all growing here in Newark. These EDA. initiatives have worked.”