Capital New York used public records law to get a copy of Buzzfeed's application for $4 million in New York State tax credits. The Buzzfeed website had threatened to move 200 employees to New Jersey if it didn't get the tax breaks. Buzzfeed wrote in its application:
we have explored the option of taking office space in New Jersey as an alternative for staff that does not need to be based in a prohibitively expensive office in New York City. ... The pricing differential between the real estate we have seen in NYC and the real estate in New Jersey indicates that relocating 200 of our current NYC employees to a New Jersey offie may make sense. We are also investigating available incentives from the state of New Jersey, which would make relocating part of our company to New Jersey even more financially desirable. Assistance from NY state would make it more financially realistic and attractive to keep all of our employees in a larger NYC headquarters.
Buzzfeed reportedly raised $50 million last year from Andreessen Horowitz at a $850 million valuation, so seeing them asking for "assistance" from New York State and its taxpayers (many of whom pay full tax and are worth a lot less than $850 million) is a bit rich. But when you have a live nearby "exit" option — New Jersey — "voice" — asking for a tax discount — sometimes is effective. It seems to have been in this case.