The Niagara USA Chamber has been working with various advocacy groups and the County’s IDA office to ask the Governor to withdraw a provision in his executive Budget regarding the ability of IDAs to abate the state portion of New York State Sales Tax. This provision would prohibit IDAs from abating the state sales tax on a project unless that project is eligible to receive Excelsior Jobs tax credits. It would also give the Regional Economic Development Council and ESD the authority to give final approval on any abatement.
As Sam Ferraro, Executive Director of the Niagara County IDA has stated, “As a County IDA one of the main tools we have in assisting our local businesses to expand and in attracting outside investment is our ability to abate sales tax on construction materials, equipment, furniture, and fixtures. Depending on the specific project the abatement often serves to make the entire project viable.” In fact, the Niagara County IDA has recently worked with companies including GreenPac, Franks Vacuum Truck Service, and Olin Chlor Alkali which are important to the economy of Niagara County, and relied on sales tax abatement to move these projects to successful completion. None of these projects, along with several more in the works, would be eligible for tax abatement as they do not qualify for Excelsior Jobs tax credits. Clearly Part J of the Revenue Budget Bill will have a negative effect on the continued success of the IDAs to assist in the economic growth and recovery of our region. This provision must be removed from the Executive budget. (more…)