by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., who regularly lambastes Republicans over tax cuts and helped scuttle a plan by Amazon to locate in New York City because she opposed tax breaks the company might receive, costing the city an estimated 25,000 jobs, sought a tax break for herself in 2012 so she could launch her own company.
Ocasio-Cortez, who graduated from Boston University in 2011, today calls herself a “democratic socialist.” But in 2012, she was a businesswoman seeking tax benefits for her startup, Brook Avenue Press, which published books and curricula for children in the Bronx.
“Plenty of entrepreneurs have started their businesses on a shoestring and any break they receive means more flexibility for further growth,” Ocasio-Cortez said in 2012 in a news release.
“A tax break could mean part-time work for someone else or keeping a business’ doors open long enough to turn a profit. Young entrepreneurs are playing a special role in developing promising, creative enterprises for our future, and a small break can open up their resources for hiring, creating a new product, or reinvesting in the local economy,” Ocasio-Cortez added.
Ocasio-Cortez was one of several Bronx-based entrepreneurs and start-up advocates quoted in the release, put out by Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., in support for the proposed Small Business Start-up Support Act. The bill would have increased deductions for start-up costs from $5,000 to $10,000.
Tax experts were surprised to hear Ocasio-Cortez supported tax breaks to fuel economic growth while considering herself a democratic socialist.