Legislature candidate favors eliminating IDAs

Posted 8 July 2015 at 12:00 am


I’m running for Orleans County Legislature, District 2, which includes Yates, Ridgeway, and part of Shelby. I would like to weigh in on IDAs (industrial development agencies).

With the Comptroller’s audit released on our Orleans County EDA (Economic Development Agency), it gives a great opportunity to highlight what a scam this added layer of government really is.

This audit (click here) shows that this giveaway of taxpayer money is mostly geared toward the politically connected and “Friends of the Legislature.” Something I witnessed with my own eyes not to long ago with our Legislature stepping in with our own tax dollars to make a “Friends” site shovel ready.

Now our Legislature has become a wing of the IDA pulling more money out of our pockets. It’s bad enough that our state picks our pockets to fund this corporate welfare program that is of no benefit to the local taxpayers as far as property tax relief goes. Because of the tax deferments and breaks these chosen businesses get, YOU the taxpayer have to pick up the slack in your property taxes.

Can anyone honestly say that their property taxes have gone down because of all this bribing to keep or bring business to our county? Isn’t the purpose of having larger business in your district to help bring down the property tax burden on the local residents and provide jobs?

That does not happen because of 10, 20, 30 years of tax deferments. Not to mention the millions of dollars in location bribes, in many cases.

Let’s talk about jobs. Many of these job creators overestimate the jobs that are to be created or bring in migrant workers from out of the country to fill them. Intergrow comes to mind. They laugh all the way to the bank. They also know that they have a “Friend” at the IDA that isn’t going to hold them accountable or come after them for a return of finances.

Western NY Energy gets some tax breaks. That’s our money wasted on an inefficient fuel, that creates more pollution, lowers gas mileage, provides no benefit to the environment and has raised the cost of food all over the country. Now they are seeking more tax relief for a another grain storage bin. Where is our tax relief? When is enough, enough?

Can you imagine if this money was just applied to relieve the property tax burden? Until the over-taxation of our property is addressed by our county and elected officials, nothing – no number of bribes and giveaways to micro or big business – is going to get people and business to want to move here and take roots.

I would like to see all IDAs/EDAs ended. That is not going to happen with the current weak Republican leadership. Please take into consideration when you go to vote that I will be a watchdog of the IDA/EDA, holding them and the businesses accountable.

When a business takes the charity of our hard-earned money, they need to be held to their job creation predictions. If they pull out for any reason, they need to be made to pay back all of the money with interest.

We do this with any welfare recipient that defrauds us. Just because someone is wearing a suit does not make them above the law. I wonder if anyone at the EDA will get reprimanded or terminated for this? My guess is they will get a raise and a night out at the Pillars.

We must reduce property taxes in this county or nothing will change.There needs to be a change in all the bodies of government in this county. Progressive Republican ideology has failed us. Vote on the conservative line.

Paul Lauricella Jr.

Mr. Lauricella is a candidate for County Legislature on the Conservative Party line.