(Niagara Frontier) The NYS-sponsored industrial development agencies in the Niagara Frontier region gave away a whopping $397 million in estimated tax exemptions to business from 2008 through 2011. As both local and state governments already face difficult budget decisions, continued erosion of their revenues through tax give-aways will only increase the difficulties in providing government services.
The per-capita cost of these tax give-aways is estimated to be about $321 in the Niagara Frontier region – but there is large variation throughout the region’s towns and counties, with Erie County a mere $226 on average per resident and Niagara County a stupefying $735! Now that’s real money given away to business by officially-sponsored agencies.
The real damage from lost revenues to citizens will come during government budgeting, and it will most likely go under-reported. The lost revenues will serve as reason to slash democratically chosen government services – hitting those services that help the working poor most.
* RELATED: Check out part 2 in this series on “The Niagara Frontier Tax Give-Away”. How does your local IDA compare?