War of words heightens between Skoufis and Orange IDA

Senator James Skoufis is taking the Orange County IDA to task. MHNN file photo

GOSHEN – “The time for polite responses to these relentless and unwarranted attacks is over,” Orange County Industrial Development Agency Executive Director Bill Fioravanti said Tuesday. His comments were in response to the latest volley by Senator James Skoufis (D, Cornwall) who maintains the IDA is giving away financial incentives to the detriment of local taxpayers.

The senator has introduced legislation included in the Senate version of the state budget that would require state monitors to ride shotgun over the IDA board.

Fioravanti said the senator is “wasting valuable taxpayer money by staging political stunts” like this plan.

“First he is doing it by demonizing the kinds of companies that we and our partners in economic development are trying to attract to the area, but also IDAs require that projects are built local – 85 percent of the construction labor must be local,” Fioravanti said. “When he drives them the IDA and they get free benefits such as the 45B plan, basically half of the PILOT for nothing, they are not held to local labor and all of their jobs come from outside the region and outside the state.”

Fioravanti said Skoufis’ proposal is a “real disservice” to the people of Orange County and the state.

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