Economic Development: Industrial Development Agency Reform
The Amherst Chamber of Commerce has been working with public officials, at the State, County and Local levels, relative to Industrial Development Agency (IDA) reform. Of concern, to our legislators and taxpayers, is the tax abatement for questionable projects being granted in communities throughout our region. The controversy arises when different agencies consider eligibility for adaptive reuse projects, utilizing different criteria. While a County Wide Policy exists, interpretation of the policy is very subjective. Consequently, projects that should not qualify for tax inducements are receiving them which is not creating jobs or wealth, nor is it improving property values.
there is legislation being prepared at the state level that will systemically
change the rules regarding the agencies empowered to provide
The Amherst Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors as well as its Public Affairs Council reviewed the reform recommendations and are in favor, in theory, of overall reform that provides sustainable economic growth, with parity from community to community, for our entire region.
We will, however, continue to work to develop a Community Development initiative that responds to the concerns relative to infill and adaptive re-use projects as well as address the concerns expressed by suburban communities and the impact of their aged properties on their fiscal and infrastructure sustainability. Community Development starts from the principle that within any community there is a wealth of knowledge and experience, which, if used in creative ways, can be channeled into collective action to achieve the communities' desired goals.
Conclusion: It is our assumption that state law will be
changed and, ultimately, impact the way economic development assistance is
currently being delivered. As a hub in
the Buffalo Niagara region,