Amazon’s corporate extortion supported by the “Delaware Way”

Once again Delaware taxpayers can bear witness to the ugliness and venality of the so called “Delaware Way.”

Amazon, the multi-billion dollar conglomerate owned by the one of the richest individuals on the planet, Jeff Bezos, is asking for $4.5 million in Delaware taxpayer money to “establish its operations in Wilmington.”

Corporate extortion

This is another “prime” example of wealthy corporations seeking corporate welfare from ordinary working families who struggle each day to afford basic essentials.

Throughout my entire tenure as an elected State Representative, I have dedicated myself to exposing these corporate extortion plots that are so readily supported and encouraged by the corporate special interests that continue to influence policies and policy makers in Delaware.

I will be attending the Delaware Economic Development Authority public hearing scheduled for this Monday, February 24, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. at the Buena Vista Conference Center, 661 South DuPont Highway in New Castle, to publicly register my objections to this request by Amazon.

I am imploring all of you taxpayers, citizens, and people who care about fairness to join me at this public meeting. You don’t have to testify but your presence alone will send the message that such requests are an affront to the taxpayers of Delaware and should be rejected.

John Kowalko
State Representative
25th District

Hearing details:

Monday February 24, 2020
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Buena Vista
661 S. DuPont Hwy
New Castle, DE 19720

More information is available here. Download the hearing agenda here.

Read more about Amazon’s corporate extortion and the lack of transparency by Delaware government officials below.

From The News Journal:

The online retailer giant Amazon is asking the state for $4.5 million “to establish its operations in Wilmington, Delaware.”

The taxpayer grant application will be reviewed by the state’s Council on Development Finance at a meeting Monday.

The meeting agenda provides no details on Amazon’s proposal. A spokesman for the Council on Development Finance said the application will not be made public until the meeting.

The grant application will be brought to the state with the help of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, which recommends recipients through an opaque process.

The recommendation all but guarantees a deal. The council, to date, has never turned down an application recommended by the privately-run economic development agency

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Amazon, the delivery, warehouse and Web services giant that made $1 billion a month in after-tax profits last year, is asking Delaware for a $4.5 million state taxpayer grant “to establish its operations in Wilmington.”

The Delaware Economic Development Authority’s Council on Development Finance plans to review a brief proposal for the Delaware Strategic Fund money on Monday.

The company has collected economic development subsidies in a number of states.

From CBS News:

Amazon told investors it paid a federal income tax rate of 1.2% last year — that’s about 13 percentage points lower than the average American’s tax rate paid in 2019. Even more striking: That was a three-year high for Amazon.

Last year was the first time the ecommerce company reported paying taxes since 2016, according to recent financial statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Despite making billions in profits, Amazon showed federal tax refunds in 2017 and 2018. All told, the company reported $30.1 billion in profits in the U.S. over the past three years. It also reported paying a negative $104 million to the IRS — translation: Amazon received a nine-figure refund on its sizable earnings.

In addition to corporate extortion, reporting by The Intercept has revealed that Amazon endangers the health and safety of its workers and forces them to rely on food stamps.

Worker injuries were also reported on by The Atlantic in its December 2019 article, Ruthless Quotas at Amazon Are Maiming Employees, and Buzz Feed News reported on the numerous deaths caused by Amazon’s delivery practices with the September 2019 headline, Amazon’s Next-Day Delivery Has Brought Chaos And Carnage To America’s Streets — But The World’s Biggest Retailer Has A System To Escape The Blame.


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