NIAGARA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Niagara County Industry Development Agency has voted ‘yes’ to the proposed tax breaks in relation to the construction of the Amazon facility in the Town of Niagara.

According to the Niagara County IDA, for every $1 in tax incentives provided to Amazon, the local community will receive $11 in benefits, as the approximately $124 million tax incentives will reportedly generate about $1.3 billion in benefits to the local community.

The proposed IDA incentives include the following:

  • New York State and local Sales and Use tax exemption.  This will abate the sales tax on construction materials, furniture fixtures and equipment during the construction phase of the project.
  • Abatement of the New York State Mortgage Recording Tax.  This New York State fee is ¾ of 1% of the mortgage filed with the Niagara County.
  • A partial real property tax abatement.  The company will pay a set percentage of the property taxes that would normally be due for a period of 15 years. This is known as a Payment-in-Lieu-of-Tax agreement or “PILOT” agreement.

The chairperson of the Niagara County IDA, Mark Onesi on Wednesday, responded to residents who have been critical of possible traffic issues and noise.

“Those are all taken into consideration, but a lot of that was individuals making comments that are personal and as Lee Wallace said during the Town Hall meetings as well, what’s good for the county may not be good for individuals and that but it’s good for the town, the county,” Onesi said, “We look at all of the options all of the information and we make the best decision we possibly can for the county.”

Most of of the 1,000 jobs would pay about $31,000 per year.

“That’s just a baseline conservative number, everybody’s focused on that if they have to raise it I’m sure they will in order to reach that 1,000 employees, because if they don’t reach the 1,000 employees within a certain amount of time we can claw back any incentives that they got,” Onesi said.

With the approval of Niagara County and the Town of Niagara, the project’s future is now in the hands of Amazon, which released the following statement to News 4 Wednesday afternoon:

We are thrilled that the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency has unanimously approved our proposed project. Amazon sends special thanks to the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency’s Executive Director, Susan Langdon, NCIDA’s Chairperson, Mark Onesi, and NCIDA’s board and staff for their great partnership, as well as Niagara Town Supervisor Lee Wallace for his continued support. Niagara County is a great place to live and work and we are proud of our growing footprint in the region. While additional steps remain, this new fulfillment center would improve efficiency and service for customers in the region and bring at least 1,000 new good local jobs (average wage $18 per hour, comprehensive benefits, 401(K) with employer match, full tuition and job training assistance, and paid leave) to the area. We remain committed to being a good neighbor, corporate citizen, and community partner, and look forward to local giving and volunteer opportunities. We have invested $14+ billion in New York since 2010, including infrastructure and compensation to our employees, and created over 39,000+ full- and part-time jobs in the state. These are investments that can unlock opportunity, helping to revitalize cities and neighborhoods.”

Amazon

According to IDA officials, Amazon now needs to approve the project.

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.