Editorial: Amazon bid was a waste of time

Anyone could tell you that Tulsa was not going to get the new Amazon expansion with 50,000 employees and a giant payroll.

Tulsa couldn’t even make the Top 20.

A simple check of the general criteria showed that Tulsa fell short in too many areas for serious consideration.

Tulsa, like Oklahoma City, should have put very time, effort and money into a simple bid and then explained to the public that it was impossible for Tulsa to get such a gigantic project.

The biggest stumbling block was the level of government handouts Amazon will command from the eventual winning city.

And this is the troubling part for Tulsa.

Mayor G.T. Bynum and his pals at the chamber put on a big show and painted a picture that Tulsa really had a shot.

They kept the details of the corporate welfare deal secret (so much for government transparency) until Amazon revealed their list of Top 20 candidates. The city deferred to the chamber, a private entity funded with a millions of taxpayer dollars, and the chamber wasn’t about to reveal the inner workings of this deal.

After Tulsa fell short, Bynum was amazingly candid in revealing that he would have pushed councilors for a tax increase – maybe $30,000,000.00 a year in new taxes – to hand over to Amazon for the privilege of hosting their business.

That is a lot of corporate welfare and it still wasn’t enough.

Tulsa should concentrate on helping existing businesses and then recruiting out-of-state businesses that might really come here.

And the best corporate citizens are those who don’t blackmail Tulsa taxpayers to relocate in our city.