Car Dealership Wants $85,000 Tax Break | News
Clarence, N.Y. - "This is just more of the same- it's taking public taxpayers money and throwing it down the drain."
State Assemblyman Sean Ryan has been a vocal critic of local industrial development agencies giving big tax breaks to local businesses that in turn create only a handful of new jobs.
Earlier this year, 2 On Your Side reported on how the Amherst IDA gave Northtown Lexus $500,000 in tax breaks to expand right across the street on Sheridan Drive. Northtown created 22 new jobs.
Now, there's a similar scenario being played out in Clarence with Towne Auto.
Towne has already bought property across the street from it's existing BMW/Mini dealership and says it will open up a new dealership in the spring.
We've obtained Towne's application where it's asking for $85,000 in tax breaks as part of the expansion.
It's an expansion that Towne says will create two new jobs, and according to Towne, those two jobs will pay between $12,000 and 25,000 a year.
Ryan has called these type of subsidies corporate welfare and says Towne is going to expand whether it gets the tax break or not.
Assemblyman Sean Ryan: "Here's a trade-off that we sometimes need to keep our eye on- they're considering giving a subsidy of $85,000 for this car dealership to expand in Clarence. Clarence laid off 18 teachers' aides, so we're going to give $85,000 to a car dealership while we're laying off teachers' aides and reducing the quality of the education for our kids in Clarence - something's wrong with this scenario."
We also reported earlier this year that Clarence had given Paula's Donut shop $8,000 to open up a shop in Clarence.
The Clarence Supervisor Dave Hartzell is also the head of the town's IDA.
Hartzell declined an on camera interview on Monday, he told Scott Brown he's going to review Towne Auto's application and that he hasn't decided which way he'll vote when the IDA meets on Thursday.
Scott Brown: "What do you think the Clarence IDA is going to do tomorrow?"
Assemblyman Sean Ryan: "I hope the IDA does what they're supposed to do and that is to use subsidies to create high paying jobs mostly in the industrial field, so if they follow the rules they're supposed to follow they'll turn down this application and the next time an application like this comes in, they won't even consider it."
The owner of Towne Auto, Frank Downing, did not return two phone calls for comment.
To view Scott Brown's previous investigation into local Industrial Development Agencies: