Niagara County IDA expecting Amazon incentive request soon

·3 min read

Jul. 11—Officials with the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency said they are expecting an incentive application for the planned Amazon facility in the Town of Niagara at its upcoming meeting on Wednesday.

Mark Gabriele, the attorney representing the IDA, said that while they will not know how much in incentives Amazon plans on asking for until they receive the application, he is anticipating it will mirror the same incentives offered in Monroe and Onondaga counties.

"We don't want to reinvent the wheel," Gabriele said, explaining that the potential incentives would include property tax abatement through a pilot program, mortgage tax exemption benefits, and sales tax benefits, which were also offered for those two counties. "It was a no-brainer to follow that path. The pilot projects for this will mirror the same benefits that were implemented and approved in Onondaga and Monroe counties."

The Monroe County IDA's package reportedly includes over $150 million in tax incentives over 15 years, with their distribution facility located in Gates. The county's IDA also approved a waiver allowing the center to hire laborers from outside the county for up to 30% of its workforce.

The Onondaga County IDA's incentive package for its distribution center, located on a former golf course in Clay, are reportedly $70.8 million in tax breaks over 15 years, which include $49 million in property tax credit, $20 million in sales tax, and $2 million in state mortgage recording tax. It was also reported to contribute $28 million in taxes over that time. The 3.8 million-square foot facility promised to bring 1,000 jobs and its opening has been delayed several times.

Amazon has reportedly received $4.7 billion in subsidies from numerous countries over the past 10 years, including $4.1 billion from the United States, according to a report published in February by Good Jobs First, a non-profit watchdog organization that promotes corporate and government accountability in economic development.

The facility is planned to be located at 8995 Lockport Road and be on 216 acres of land near the Niagara Falls International Airport. The 3 million-square foot, five-story warehouse has already been recommended by the town and Niagara County planning boards.

The site is projected to create up to 1,000 full- and part-time jobs, have 494 tractor trailers coming and going at the site daily, and provide more than 1,700 parking spaces for employees and visitors.

"It's going to be a significant investment with over 1,000 jobs," Gabriele said. "It's one of the biggest projects we've come across."

The IDA's upcoming meeting will take place Wednesday at 9 a.m. at 6311 Inducon Corporate Drive in Sanborn.

The Niagara Town Board has recently approved a negative declaration of environmental concerns for the project and is waiting for the town's Zoning Board of Appeals to take action on Amazon's request to combine all the parcels making up this site into a single parcel. The ZBA's next meeting will take place on July 12.

The town is expected to give final approval for the project at its July 19 meeting.