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By Nalina Shapiro

January 20, 2012

Industrial development agencies or IDAs are supposed to help attract, retain or expand local businesses locally through financial incentives. But is that really happening?

People with the Coalition for Economic Justice in Buffalo say no, and that companies like VWR in the Town of Tonawanda are taking advantage of your taxpayer dollars.

For about the past 15 years VWR has been getting tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. Incentives they got to invest in this area. Well when that tax break expired on January 1st, the company announced they were consolidating with a Rochester facility. 41 people lost their jobs and had their final day of work Thursday.

Local Assemblyman Sean Ryan says the only reason VWR moved to Rochester is because the company got another tax break from a different IDA in Monroe County. Ryan says IDAs are supposed to create high-paying jobs in our community but instead they are hurting the local economy. There's now a demand for more transparency and accountability. Ryan says Governor Cuomo agrees there needs to be swift changes in the way IDAs operate in our community.

Andy Reynolds of the Coalition for Economic Justice said, “There needs to be quality job standard a money back guarantee things like claw backs to make sure when companies go back on their agreements or don't create the jobs that they promised or leave town taxpayers get their money back.”

News 4 called the Erie County IDA and is still waiting to hear back. VWR did send a typed out statement saying in part that, "The tax exemptions were in no way a factor in the decision to consolidate warehouses."

To read more visit: WIVB4