Wednesday, June 13, 2012

NEWS BLOG: COMIDA vs. the Greece School Board

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 9:26 AM

The Greece School Board is taking a stand against proposed tax breaks for the Greece Ridge Mall.

The county Industrial Development Agency is proposing a plan that would limit future property tax increases on the mall for 25 years. The mall's owner, a subsidiary of Wilmorite, plans to reconfigure the former Bon-Ton space into several smaller units.

Last night, the school board passed a resolution opposing the incentive plan. Other local governments have protested COMIDA-proposed incentives before and with little luck. Whether the Greece School Board's opposition has any effect remains to be seen, though it gave its attorneys the go-ahead to take legal action if COMIDA approves the incentives, the Democrat and Chronicle reports.

The board's action brings attention to a key complaint critics have of New York's IDA's: local governments don't really have a say in whether a business gets tax breaks. COMIDA documents say that the school district's position will be taken into consideration, but COMIDA officials don't have an obligation to reject the tax breaks because the district opposes them.

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