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April 28, 2014 - 5:40pm

GCEDC board set to vote on assistance for Liberty Pumps expansion

posted by Howard B. Owens in business, GCEDC, liberty pumps, bergen.

Press release:

The Board of Directors of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) will consider a final resolution at its May 1 board meeting.

Liberty Pumps is planning a 100,000-square-foot expansion of its existing facility at Apple Tree Acres in Bergen, to create new spaces for production and warehouse, research and development and a new office, display, auditorium and training center. The company is investing $9.8 million for the expansion project, creating 27 new positions, and retaining 124 employees. 

Liberty Pumps has undertaken several projects in the last few years. In 2000, the company invested $3.7 million to construct and equip a 60,000-square-foot facility and in 2008 they undertook a 64,000-square-foot addition.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Meetings are held at the Dr. Bruce A. Holm Upstate Med & Tech Park -- 99 MedTech Drive in the Town of Batavia, on the 2nd floor, across from Genesee Community College.

Not in the press release, but from another e-mail sent out by GCEDC today:

Liberty Pumps is planning a 100,000-square-foot expansion onto its existing 120,000-square-foot facility at Apple Tree Acres in Bergen. (Of that,) 81,400 square feet will be dedicated to production and warehouse, 7,600 square feet will house new research and development/ test facility space, and 11,000 square feet will hold new office, display, an auditorium and training center. ... The company has submitted an application to the GCEDC requesting assistance that includes tax savings of $377,600, a mortgage tax exemption savings of $93,750, and property tax abatement of $863,577 due to the incremental increase in assessed value.

Bob Harker
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It's a done deal. Do people really believe GCEDC listens to public comments?

Dave Meyer
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$863,577 in property taxes that will have to be made up by - guess who?

Howard B. Owens
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Since there would be no increase in property taxes if they didn't expand, how do you calculate that they need to be made up?

Dave Meyer
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I figure it this way Howard.

If Liberty Pumps ISN'T granted the exemption, they will pay $863,577 in taxes. That increases the tax base and lowers everyone's taxes.

Suppose I want to put new siding on my house. If I do that, it's probably going to raise my assessment and therefore increase my taxes. Everyone else's taxes are lower because of my investment. Where do I go to get an abatement on the sales tax for the materials or an exemption on the increase in MY taxes?

Look....I admire Charlie Cook. He built that business from nothing into a very successful business. What I don't admire is that he's now chosen to go to the GCEDC trough instead of continuing to do what he's done to build his business. And why? Because he can.

Mark Potwora
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The point would be that if they paid what the mortgage tax exemption , and the sales tax exemption on top of the property tax abatement we would have a lower tax rate,, We are subsidizing Liberty pumps expansion...The company wasn't going to move to another area...The IDA was spose to be about creating new company's to this area not to keep handing out tax abatements to already established company's who have already gotten tax abatements...The county is even going to pay to upgrade the electrical power to the company..This is just one more benefit of being chairman of the GCEDC and then stepping down so you can get this give aways,,Bob Harker is right it is a done deal,,,,The tax paying public has no say..And lets not pretend we do Howard,,

How do we expand the tax base if we keep abating the taxes to companies that keep getting tax break after tax break,,.....

One more question....Who will pocket this money that won't be paid in property tax.?.....

Howard B. Owens
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Dave, the way I see it, without the tax exemptions, perhaps Liberty Pumps doesn't expand because it can't afford to expand and then there's no increased assessed value. And no new jobs.

PILOTS cost taxpayers absolutely nothing. In a perfect world, yes, such tax exemptions wouldn't exist, but they do and only a really stupid business owner wouldn't take advantage of the ability to help save money on business expansion or building a new business.

Liberty Pumps has grown in some measure because of past IDA assistance. In fact, Charlie Cook got involved in the first place with GCEDC because he felt the IDA had benefited his business and he wanted to give back by volunteering his time as a board member. Liberty Pumps is one of the great shining examples of how IDA assistance can help grow a business and create local jobs. Charlie Cook has shown he can take this kind of assistance and use it wisely to create jobs and generate new tax revenue for the local taxing jurisdictions (remember, PILOTS expire over time and there are taxes that are generated off the increased assessments ... increases that wouldn't happen without the PILOTS in the first place).

I'll bitch all day long about tax breaks for Dick's Sporting Goods and other big national retail chains, and if I could wave a magic wand and do away with these kinds of tax breaks across the entire nation (it would only hurt us to be the only county or only state that didn't offer incentives), I would. But this is the reality we live in and for a local business to benefit from this help in expansion only benefits all of us.

Brian Graz
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Did I read it right? A $9.8 Million investment and $1,340,000 in tax breaks to create 27 new jobs??? So tell me once again how this benefits all of us... ?

Doug Barnard
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Some of the tax abatement is for BS taxes anyways.

From the NYS Tax website."New York State imposes a tax on the privilege of recording a mortgage on real property located within the state."

Thats right they consider it a privilege to record a mortgage and they want their cut!

Sales tax on building materials is crap also because once its built you're going to be taxed on the building....double taxation at its finest.

So you guys are for more taxes?

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