Assemblyman Sean Ryan held a press conference at 3445 Delaware Ave. in front of Prime Wines and Spirits to discuss the wasteful use of tax dollars to finance ill conceived projects. Projects that cost this region millions of dollars with only modest positive affect. This is because each of Erie County’s 6 IDAs pull in different directions, competing against one another, all at the expense of Erie County. This is particularly evident after Western New York’s receipt of the Regional Economic Development Council Grant. By working together, this region was able to generate a plan that received “best in show” and awarded $100.3 million. This type of cooperation, instead of competition, could generate an annual benefit in excess of this amount.
Assemblyman Ryan is calling for IDAs to approve projects that reflect a regional growth model. “Projects that result in a net gain of jobs and bringing new businesses to Erie County should be encouraged. However, too often tax breaks are given to already thriving Erie County businesses or to businesses that produce few, if any, new jobs.” Premier Liquor’s subsidy should never have happened. This is a prime example of Erie County communities pirating businesses away from one another. Ryan continues to say that “thriving Erie County businesses must make decisions based on their business models, not by the IDAs competing in a race to the bottom to see who can give away more tax dollars. A regional focus gives the greatest benefits to Erie County; this has never been more apparent than after we were awarded the Regional Economic Development Council Grant.”