Friday Facts and Figures

Friday Facts and Figures: February 15, 2019

Amazon pulls out of NYC, and they probably pay less in federal taxes than you do.

Published on Feb 15, 2019

Friday Facts and Figures is a brief digital newsletter focusing on data points from NJPP reports, research, and policy debates in New Jersey and beyond.
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$7 Billion

Amazon will no longer build a corporate campus in Long Island City in response to intense scrutiny by local activists and elected officials. At the crux of the opposition? $3 billion in promised tax subsidies. New Jersey has it made clear that its offer of $7 billion in subsidies is still on the table, but the tech giant says it will not reopen its “HQ2” search. NJPP’s Sheila Reynertson puts it bluntly here, saying: “Given New Jersey’s track record of overpaying for tax subsidies and failing to provide oversight, it’s safe to say New Jersey dodged a bullet with Amazon’s decision.”  [ / Charles Stile]


Valued at nearly $800 billion, Amazon is one of the most profitable companies on the planet. Its founder, Jeff Bezos, is one of the richest men in the history of the world. However, the corporation paid zero dollars in US federal taxes — for the second year in a row. In fact, Amazon reported a $129 million tax rebate, making its effective federal tax rate -1%. Amazon has turned tax avoidance into an art, as the company nearly doubled its US profits to $11.2 billion in 2018, up from $5.6 billion in 2017. [Fortune / Laura Stampler]

66 Percent

A new poll by Monmouth University finds that 66 percent of New Jerseyans support raising the minimum wage to $15. This comes as no surprise to NJPP, as the minimum wage increase will boost the take home pay of approximately 1 million workers, representing a quarter of the state’s workforce. Earlier this month Governor Murphy signed the landmark bill into law, making New Jersey the fourth state in the nation on a path to a $15 minimum wage. [ / Matt Arco]


A new study by WalletHub finds that New Jersey ranks third in states benefitting from the positive economic impact of immigrants. According to the report, New Jersey ranks second in percent of jobs created by immigrant-owned businesses out of total jobs, and first in percent of foreign-born STEM workers out of total STEM workers. The only states ranking higher than New Jersey are California and New York. NJPP’s Erika Nava sums it up here: “Overwhelmingly, the research has always shown immigrants making a positive impact to our state’s economy. New Jersey has a vested interest in welcoming immigrants to stay in the state.” [ROI-NJ]

80 Percent

While access and quality of health care are critical, they only account for 20 percent of health outcomes, according to a new NJPP report. The vast majority of health outcomes — the other 80 percent — are determined by social, economic, environmental, and behavioral conditions. This means that investments in education, housing, poverty alleviation, transit, and other socioeconomic and environmental programs can help eliminate the barriers to a healthy life for all New Jerseyans. [NJPP / Brandon McKoy, Sheila Reynertson, Raymond Castro]


Gordon’s Celebration is less than a week away! We have a limited number of tickets left, so please RSVP now to secure a spot. The event is February 21, 2019 at the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick. We hope you will join us in commemorating Gordon’s tenure as NJPP President and his 55+ year career in public policy! [RSVP for Gordon’s Celebration]

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