Kowalko: Amazon should give back

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko

Would it be impertinent of me to ask, on behalf of Delaware taxpayers, that the multi-billion-dollar corporation Amazon return the $4.5 million in taxpayer money gifted to them earlier this year by the Partnership for Prosperity and the Delaware Economic Development Office?

Amazon owner Jeff Bezos is estimated to be the wealthiest individual in the world with a net worth ranging somewhere over $100 billion. The Amazon distribution center sited for the old GM location has already begun its construction with investments of $200 million for costs and an additional $50 million for equipment.

The commitment has been made and the funding already let which makes one wonder why their request for $4.5 million in Delaware taxpayer assistance from the “Strategic Fund” was approved.

I made the argument on several occasions and in several venues against awarding this resource-laden economic giant our taxpayer money. With no proven return on investment and not even a guarantee of local labor being used in the infrastructural construction, it appeared/appears to be little more than “corporate welfare.”

If Amazon and Mr. Bezos deigned to do the right thing in these desperate times and reject/return the $4.5 million, it could be used to purchase $4.5 million worth of COVID-19 test kits. There may even be some left over to buy masks, gowns, and other personal protection equipment for our courageous and dedicated medical providers and first-responders.

State Rep. John Kowalko
Democrat – District 25

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