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Letter: Erie County IDA needs to look out for taxpayers

Erie County IDA needs to look out for taxpayers

A recent article in the Business section of The News has Benderson Development seeking tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency of $787,303 for the conversion of the Garden Village Plaza into a new light industrial complex costing $20.7 million. This tax break amounts to less than 4 percent of the total project cost, yet according to Benderson’s IDA application, the tax breaks are paramount to the success of the project. Benderson claims significant risks in the project’s costs and construction.

However, in the same article, evidence is given that demand for such projects is so high and market supply is so near capacity that one would surmise that such a project could easily be profitable without taxpayer subsidies. So with the axiom of supply and demand working as expected, yet not good enough for Benderson, why would the IDA want or need to support such a project?

This is just another example of taxpayer-supported corporate welfare for a multimillion-dollar developer who could well afford the project without taking advantage of the taxpayers of Erie County with complicity from the IDA. One has to wonder whose side the IDA is on. And where is the social conscience of such corporations?

Gerald Scott


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