Last Wednesday the Town of Hamburg Industrial Development Agency held a public hearing to receive feedback on a proposed Amazon Distribution Facility to be built in the town. During the 3-hour long hearing, few spoke in favor of the facility citing jobs that might be brought to the area, but many were concerned about the $6.85 million in tax breaks that Amazon would accrue from the town over a ten year period.
Erie County Libertarian Party Chair, Duane Whitmer, attended the public hearing where he voiced his dissatisfaction with the IDA’s consideration for this proposal. Whitmer discussed the recent shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying businesses and residents of the Town of Hamburg should not be called upon to subsidize a trillion dollar company such as Amazon; “Local small businesses were shut down and people were left unemployed while Amazon recorded record profits. We should focus our efforts on rebuilding local communities, not begging Amazon for scraps.”
The Erie County Libertarian Party emphasizes that it is not the government’s job to pick winners and losers, or cover up the fact that the business environment in Western New York is flawed. Instead of accepting a temporary fix to a long term problem, let’s pressure our elected officials to fix the high tax rates, regulations, and hoops everyone has to jump through to run a business. Due to the history of how IDA’s have responded to proposals such as this one, and how the outcomes have negatively affected communities all over Western New York in the past, Constitutional attorney James Ostrowski stated that he wishes to “challenge the very premise of organizations that grant special tax breaks to favored private firms,” citing that IDA’s generally underproduce on promised job creation and that they shift the tax burden from their clients to the vast majority of citizens who are not their clients.
The Erie County Libertarian Party is the Erie County affiliate of the Libertarian Party of New York, fighting for smaller government, decentralization, and the individual. Learn more at eriecountylp.org.