The government watchdog group Good Jobs New York argues in a report today that economic incentives never succeed in keeping corporations where municipalities want them. In one instance, for example, New York City pledged $90 million in tax breaks so that Citigroup would build a new tower in Long Island City so that the bank could move its employees to a lower-cost location.But, in 2004, New Jersey dangled a $57.2 million grant and got the bank to move 1,600 jobs there instead.
All told, Good Jobs calculated that Citigroup was awarded $285.9 million in tax breaks in New York, New Jersey, Texas and Kentucky over the past 18 years. (the company has not necessarily taken advantage of all of that amount so far, however, because of eligibility requirements.)
UPDATE: Shannon Bell, deputy director of public affairs for Citigroup, would not comment on the report, but said, "We have a significant workforce in New York and New Jersey and we are proud of the contributions we have made to the communities and the economies of both states."
The bank has 32,000 employees and independent contractors in New York City, up from 27,000 three years ago.
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