Thursday, August 14, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake . . .

Per the Sentinel, F.X. Matt Brewery has asked county officials for tax breaks as it rebuilds from its May 29th fire.

IDA Executive Director Shawna M. Papale said the firm is seeking "standard" incentives available through her agency. She identified them as relief from sales tax and mortgage recording tax and a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes package.

The mortgage recording tax in the county is 1 percent. That means, for example, on an IDA-backed project involving a $1.5 million mortgage, the exemption would save the business $15,000.

Eligible firms can save the sales tax on materials and equipment purchased during the project construction period with approval from the IDA. The sales tax in the county is 8.75 percent, consisting of 4 percent state sales tax and 4.75 percent county sales tax.

How about everyone else? Did you get similar tax breaks from the county when you built your business, or your home, or when you had a loss? Why is this the taxpayers' responsibility? Or is this simply an admission that taxes have gotten SO out of hand that the tax burden crushes entrepreneurship?

One gets the impression that in Oneida County if you are big enough, important enough, or connected enough, you can count on government to help you dip your ladle into the bottomless taxpayers' pot.

Everybody else? "Let them eat cake."

3 comments:

Andrew said...

A number of the small businesses I've worked for over the years attempted to get various tax breaks and other sorts of assistance. (We also had very bad luck with EDGE; when they could be bothered to show us space at Griffiss at all, it was in poor condition and not competitively priced.) Some of them came through, like the "QEZE" - Qualified Empire Zone Exemption - which allowed you out of state sales tax. Others didn't. I can't fault the people at FX Matt for applying for these tax breaks; whether they'll actually get them or not is another story - and why all businesses in Oneida County (or NY State) don't "just get them automatically" is another matter.

Anonymous said...

From what I've read, IDA tax benefits are available for nearly any business (and until recently NFP) undergoing a major expansion or construction project.

Andrew said...

Looks like we have our answer from IDA: Oneida County agency approves tax breaks for F.X. Matt brewery.
I don't necessarily begrudge Matt for getting this break (after all, if such breaks are available on paper, why not apply?).
On OCIDA's website this exemption is listed at the top of the page under "financial incentives for hands-on manufacturing and other eligible projects"), however, I didn't find any information regarding how to apply or what the criteria for selection were (other than to call them).