We Can't Keep Bribing Companies to Stay in New York, We Need to Cut Taxes and Regulations for Everyone

Statement on Alcoa Corporate Welfare from Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I - East Fishkill)

"I'm very happy that 600 jobs were saved at the Alcoa aluminum smelting plant in Massena, New York today. But what is the long-term plan to make New York more hospitable to business or at least less hostile to business so bailouts like this are not necessary? What are the governor and legislative leaders in both parties doing to make sure we are not faced with this exact problem when the deal expires in less than 40 months? Unless we significantly reduce spending so we can responsibly reduce taxes and reduce the regulatory burden on job creators, we will be right back here in a few years. If we reduced our multi-billion dollar, number-one-in-the-nation, corporate welfare program, we could provide across-the-board tax relief and make corporate subsidies unnecessary."

"The cost of today’s Alcoa deal to taxpayers and electricity ratepayers is enormous. The state’s economic development agency will provide $38 million for capital improvement and the New York State Power Authority will supply $30 million in energy. But the state taking tax dollars and electricity ratepayer dollars and throwing $68 million at a huge corporation with $24 billion in annual revenue when they threaten to leave the state is not sustainable. This is not even a subsidy for Alcoa to expand and create jobs in New York. It is a $68 million subsidy to not close a plant which reportedly loses $1 million per week."

"Alcoa is only guaranteeing to keep those jobs here until March 2019, which is less than three- and-a-half years away. So the subsidy works out to be more than $114,000 per job, or over $34,000 per job each year to just maintain the status quo. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in St. Lawrence County, where the Alcoa plant is situated, is $43,647, which, in many, if not most cases, includes two income earners in the household."

"We have been down this road before with this very plant. According to the Watertown Daily Times, 'Alcoa’s Massena Operations had agreed to maintain 750 jobs at its West Plant and train workers for high-demand, technical jobs under a deal announced in 2013 by Alcoa, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York Power Authority. The 750 jobs was down from the 900 jobs agreed upon in 2008 that would allow Alcoa to continue receiving low-cost power from the New York Power Authority.' Capital Tonight reports that, 'Eight years ago, the state gave the company $5.6 billion worth of power credits for the next 30 years.'"

"To reiterate, everyone is pleased that those 600 workers in Massena, New York will not lose their jobs. But the high cost of doing business in the state which stems from over-taxation and over-regulation is what makes companies flee New York. The deal between the state and Alcoa does nothing to fix the underlying problem. In fact, the deal will likely exacerbate the spending and taxing problem by encouraging other corporations to threaten to leave the state if the state refuses to subsidize them."