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Cuomo reacts to IDA backlash on sales tax proposal

Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

During his visit to western New York on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacted to the backlash by Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) against his executive budget proposal that would remove their powers to grant state sales tax exemptions.

In recent weeks, IDAs across New York state have been pleading with the governor to rethink the proposed change. They argue it will strip them of their ability to manage local economic development projects.

The governor’s proposal would require them to have projects that involve offering state sales tax exemptions approved by the relevant Regional Economic Development Council. Cuomo says he feels his plan will grow the state’s economy.

“I don’t want to subsidize a company to move within this state and just reside in a different locale. This is about creating new jobs and giving new people opportunity, so our IDA proposal would reform what I believe is a lack of coordination and waste in the program,” said Cuomo.

Cuomo says he wants the state to be spending tax dollars more wisely and this plan would do just that. The change is expected to increase state revenue by about $7 million in its first fiscal year and is planned to generate $13 million annually thereafter.

Ashley is a Buffalo native, and is in her second stint as reporter at WBFO. During her first tenure at the station, Ashley covered a variety of issues in the western New York region and earned an Associated Press award for team coverage on “Same Sex Marriage in New York.” Ashley has also worked as an anchor/reporter at WBEN in Buffalo and WBTA in Batavia.