Yesterday, Bloomberg News
pharmaceutical giant Pfizer paid New York City $24.7 million for subsidies it used along with a penalty, for failing to live up to promises made in a $46 million corporate retention
awarded by the Industrial Development Agency in 2003.
While this is indeed welcomed news, it’s diminished by the fact that the subsidy package should never have happened in the first place.
at a hearing before the subsidy was awarded, Pfizer is a mainstay of Manhattan’s East Side and didn’t need taxpayer’s money to expand its offices. Others, angry at Pfizer’s drug policies concerning
distribution of drugs
to poor people and those with
HIV and AIDS
, were offended that public money would go to the pharma giant’s real estate pursuits. To top it off, in June of 2003, an executive was
quoted in Crain’s New York
saying the firm never planned to leave the city.
While details are sketchy, we assume the company fell out of favor with the city after closing its Brooklyn plant in 2007 where it’s been since the mid 1800’s and when word got out about
reductions in its workforce and Manhattan office space
. The Pfizer deal, while egregious, shows that the Bloomberg Administration allows for strong
(compared to his predecessor Rudy Giuliani) especially in the very early years of a deal; the city can demand 100% repayment and penalties for job losses before June 2011. Though the city’s handling of
deal shows recapture provisions aren’t always equally enforced.