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March 14, 2012 - 7:48am

Today's Poll: Do you support Pepsi/Muller getting tax incentives to build a yogurt factory in Batavia?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
terry paine
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The dissatisfaction should be directed in the correct direction. This company has a choice where to locate its facilities. When we see all these discounts, it has to be pointed out that these are discounts off of a ridiculously inflated price. Their property tax liability by NYS assesments should have been $700,000 a year. They have a choice to build where property taxes are half that amount. And as far as the sales tax exemption, those same states have 0 sales tax. Couple that with the hostile environment that NYS creates for business and they do need some other incentive to build here. They will pay a property tax of 140,000 a year for the first ten years. Their true discount compared to other plots of land in this county is $2,100,000, not $11,000,000 for the first ten years.

This is no different than one car dealer selling a car for manufacturers suggested retail price of $30,000 while 5 dealers down the road sell the same car for $5,700 and people being upset that someone would buy that discounted car.

Robin Murphy
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More $8 to $10 dollar an hour jobs in Batavia NY. I think that I will keep commuting to Rochester rather than work for that. Everything keeps going up besides pay rates, unless of course you work for a greedy union. Maybe I should have posted this in a rant and rave forum. Thanks for reading-Robins husband Jeff.

Kyle Couchman
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LOL "Robin's husband Jeff" You do realize you just contrdicted your own comment. With the price of gas climbing as it has which is more economical, a $10/hr job 2 miles away or a $20/hr job 40 miles away.... if you work 5 days a week thats 53.20 in gas for your work week. if working locally $2.40 a week in gas that at 4 a gallon

John Roach
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Robin,
While you have a job, many do not. And I bet you dimes to dollars, there will be more people applying for work than there are jobs available. So your decision to stay where you are helps.

Jerry Buckman
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Why isn't there loud public praise for this company deciding to locate in Batavia? While WNY continues to die a slow, painful death, here's a flower growing out of a crack in the concrete. This company could easily locate in the far-business-friendlier Southeast. For those who don't like meager wages, get some training and/or move to where the higher paying job is.

Mark Brudz
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That is a Damn good question!

John Roach
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NYS just announced it was going to give rebates if you buy a washer or freezer, starting next month, until the money runs out. I hope nobody here who objects to the "coporate welfare" will by one until after the rebate ends.

kevin kretschmer
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Principles and values aren't worth much if they are not applied in all instances, so I will not be running out to buy a new "green" appliance just because NYS is throwing more feed in the pig trough.

Jason Brunner
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I think it depends on whether or not they intend to support our small local dairy farms for their supplies. If we give them tax breaks it should be contingent on them supporting our local farmers.

Tom Frew
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Its my understanding from a good local source that the demand when these places open might exceed the supply and that there may be milk coming in from as far away as Michigan until supply can catch up. So, I think our farmers stand to benefit. Hopefully they can add capacity with minimal outlay.

Subject to the incentive. More jobs, likely more money in the consumer spend pipeline helps local businesses. Toss in maybe a few more homes with real estate tax revenue. How can't this be a good investment with regard to the short term tax incentives?

Howard B. Owens
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Mark Potwora
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John ...in 2010 i bought a new fridge from home depot and refused the New York rebate...it was bs stimlus money that i was against...I think it was fifty bucks..they also wanted to give me money to haul the old one away..Just haul it away was good enough....

C. M. Barons
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I don't object to incentives for business; I posed the question, "where is the benefit?" The question derived from the press surrounding the new business. First there were pictures of happy politicians gathered with their shovels at ground-breaking. Then there was the article on bonuses for the GCEDC folks. Then there was the article with local farmers noting that the yoghurt business wasn't much help to them. Then there was the article on tax deferrals for the yoghurt plant owners. It's no secret Pepsico splits its political contributions, 26% Democrats, 73% Republicans. I was just curious as to what the average county resident was supposed to be celebrating.

Mark Brudz
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CM, check out the Commerce Department’s
Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)

When you start including output/Earnings/Income multipliers for that particular industry it equates to 10,71 jobs for each million dollars of product that plant will produce.That is in addition top the jobs in the plant.

Articles about political contributions, what politicians atteneded ground breaking, how much bonus a GCDEC employee makes are pretty much moot when it comes to economic impact.

All too often when we read articles we jump to the tag lines "168 jobs etc.etc." what gets lost is how many jobs are created for each business in the area because the business is there

The regional multipliers for that segment of the dairy industry are

2,0993 for every $1million in sales economic output
,3576 for every dollar of sales increased average income to community
10.71 jobs for every $1mil the plant will have in sales

When you couple all that together, pretty close to the 14.71 to 1 that GCDEC estimated,

Personally, I don't care what bonus a guy gets as long as he produces, in this case with the Pepsi/Wave deal, they produced in a big way for the community both short and especially long term

Kyle Couchman
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No Mark B you dont understand, maybe you should research the bonus question a lil more locally. The Gcedc collected $200,000 in money from the county then gives themselves about 160 to 180,000 in year end bonuses. On top of the biggest salary of all NYS edc's thats the slap in the face locally we have issue with, not his getting a bonus but his funding the bonus off of the backs of the taxpayers. Also you must remember that these bonuses were given before this development was a sure thing. Look back on the articles and see if you still dont care what bonuses this guy gets.

Mark Brudz
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I do Understand Kyle, Have you ever worked for a company where your pay was a small stiphend and your income was actually a bonus based on performance?

I remember waitresses being paid $1.65 an hour and making the rest in tips too. I will tell you in formal restuarants some of those waitresses ended up earning more than the salaried Manager. I personally have clients that are managers and restaurant owners that will attest to that and a few waitresses I know turned down management positions because they considered it a pay cut back then.

We as a whole are too quick to envy and blame, but again this discussion is getting off track

The issue is whether or not the deal to bring the plant here in Batavia was a good thing or a bad thing, all the discussion outside of that is just a side show. What bonus Steve Hyde got is irrelevant to the issue.

The bottom line is this; The deal has been struck, the plant is coming and the community will benefit

Kyle Couchman
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I disagree Mark while the bonus is not relavant to this issue it is in of itself a whole separate and serious issue, Steve Hyde is the highest paid EDC in the state he doesnt make a small stipend, he already makes a quite comfortable living to then get a bonus of such proportions that it is almost equal to the entire amount of money they recieve from us taxpayers through the county? I'm sorry but in this economic climate that is a slap in the face to every hard working individual struggling in this community.

I'm hoping that they dont get a dime from the county this year as they are doing so well they can give themselves bonuses. Cant have it both ways, accept taxpayer monies to do a job then say they are semi private and can give themselves bonuses like that.

Kyle Couchman
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Maybe this will help Mark cause your comments lead me to believe you arent aware of this issue which is what underlies some of the attitude of the public towards Steve Hyde and the GCEDC....

The Genesee County Economic Development Center should recover more than $344,000 in bonus payments to employees made from 2005 through 2009, according to a report issued Wednesday by New York Authorities Budget Office.

The ABO is responsible for fiscal oversight of certain local agencies, including industrial development agencies.

In a scathing report (pdf), ABO officials say that GCEDC made bonus payments that do not comply either with state law or guidelines.

In the case of one bonus payment, the report recommends the matter be referred to a local law enforcement agency for further review.

"GCIDA (aka, GCEDC) officials justified its bonus practices as proper and comparable to bonus incentive plans in use by private industry," the report reads. "GCIDA officials continue to show a lack of understanding that the GCIDA is a public entity and not a private industry."

The report is also critical of the $153,000 annual salary for Executive Directory Steve Hyde. Hyde's base salary is the highest in the state for any IDA, the report states, and significantly higher than any IDA director in Western New York, and higher by far than any other public employee in Genesee County.

Thats from : http://thebatavian.com/howard-owens/state-report-blasts-compensation-pra...

this might give a little more insight on our attitudes, Alot were frustrated that the county goves this org over 200,000 a year, the spend about 140,000 of it on bonuses then county has to cut services like meals on wheels, genesee justice.... While Steve makes press releases on how good the year was and they are getting obscene bonuses.

Mark Brudz
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Kyle, it does not help

I base my perceptions on education and personal experience.

Short story, maybe you will get my point.

In 1980 I came home on leave from the USMC, we lived outside Syracuse then because NIMO relocated all the engineering department to syracuse in the early 70's.

So I rented a car at the airport, headed home stopping a watering hole frequented by my friends on the way. Much to my surprise, I was greeted by a friend telling me how lucky I was to be so rich and he never knew. As a young Marine Staff Sgt, I was pretty much stunned by that comment and had no idea what he was talking about.

As it turned out, a few weeks prior, NIMO petitioned the state Power Authority for a rate increase which pissed off a local consumer group. That group got together with the Herald Journal News Paper and published all the salaries of NIMO Employees making more than $50K (At that time above average bucks by a long shot) My father not only made that list but was near the top.

What people didn't know was that year my father worked 6 days a week, mostly double shifts for 37 weeks when NIMO was refitting Nine Mile Point My Dad a low level engineer made twice in overtime what his low level engineer salry was, at a big price, as my family told me that I was home from the corps as much as he was from work.

It didn't stop there, protestors showed up, people made really nasty comments, and a few things I won't mention, why? Not because my dad did anything wrong, but because Nimo wanted a 1 penny increase in the electrical rate and some thought it was price gouging.

My lesson from that is NEVER BEGRUDGE what another person earns, and NEVER JUDGE if he earned it unless you are his supervisor.

I have seen the same sort of thing in the USMC when some got promoted over others, in the working world and so on.

As far as the article you cite. well politicians like criticize, which basically was what the state report was.

I don't know if those bonuses were deserved or not, frankly. What I do know is today, this week, the GCDEC did a damn fine thing for the City of Batavia and Genesee County as a whole. Dredging up last years articles is, in my opinion, totallly pointless. At this point and time, it just falls under the category of historical reference.

Here is my question, was anyone jailed? In the end was ther a provable crime?

And above all, does it mean we should use it to cloud what otherwise is a very good thing for the county?

Mark Potwora
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Kyle great post..Mark B do you really think that Hyde should make more than governor Coumo..Well with his bonus this year he did...The county pays their base salary...The thing is what is being done to recoup the money..Or is this just swept under the rug..Thats the way County legislature Hancock sounded in her speech, she has nothing but praises for Hyde and all the money he makes........

Bob Harker
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Mark, great story about your dad.

Do you really NOT see the difference between a hardworking hourly wage earner and Steve Hyde??!!

Really?!?!?!?!

Kyle Couchman
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Do you realize Mark that your very restricted viewpoint is the very apathy that allows people like Steve Hyde to get away with these type of shenanigans. First I am the first person who would defend someone like your father who at great personal sacrifice works very hard. I myself am medically out of work because of the same work ethic. Hopefully the money he earned was worth it. As for the media involvement, that will happen especially in the early 80's when home computers were almost non exsistant and the media was really not able to get information out as quickly or as detailed as today.

In the article I cited, it wasn't politicians, it was financial engineers called accountants as well as managers that are working people like your father, the work for the State making sure that corruption and abuses arent occuring in state funded programs. You dismissing them as politicians is as great an injustice as the protestors put your father through so the lesson you learned isnt complete. Also absolutes like NEVER judging and NEVER begrudging what a person earns is really a stupid idea, so I guess the CEO of Enron who ripped off and broke so many investors portfolios for his own enrichment shouldnt be judged. Or the Bankers that extended so many unsupportable home loans only to be bailed out with our Govt's money, then give themselves multi million dollar bonuses shouldn't be judged either. Its really a silly cop out on responsibilty.

I have to say I dont get your point and feel your education and personal experience as you have related have led to an emotional disconnect causing a bit of a skewed perception. Your emotions over the injustice your father suffered have caused you to overcompensate your views on people who do abuse the system to obtain themselves a comfortable salary at the expense of others.

As for clouding an event that is good for the county, well the plant isnt in yet, and until they have their buildings built and filled their plant with employees it hasnt really changed anything. Everything could fall thru very easily still. I just think that such obscene amounts of income are not only uncalled for but literally a slap in the face of the residents of this community. They have a job and they are already paid well to do it, to give themselves bonuses is just an outrage.

You seem very sharp, I wonder if you can step outside the bubble of your own personal exp and look at this objectively and still come to the same conclusion.

John Roach
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Bottom line is that the State of New York said there abuses at the GCEDC and that they needed to be corrected. But they said the County Legislature had to make the changes. The public had a chance last November to start that process, but voted to keep things the way they are.

Mark Brudz
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Kyle, I simply do not believe that bringing the bonus issue up is dampning what is a very good thing for the county.

Again, it was up to the county, no charges were formally filed, no changes were made, we have a new factory in Batvaia bringing jobs and economic growth and you are harping about something that is basically a closed case.

Please read John's post, it sums it up

My story based on experience that I shared with you is still valid, do you know Steve Hyde? Did you voice your concerns to the county legislature last year or just post in here?

This is a great placeto spout off, that is why I read the post here for years before I actually registered and spoke up, but I know speaking up here is venting. (BTW Howard I am sure that everyone agrees that you are doing a great service here)

If you want to change things go to the county legislature, although I believe this issue has pretty much been tabled there.

Mark Brudz
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Class envy is the most evil of evils in my book Bob, You sport a FUBO sticker for your avatar, yet you whisper the same class envy as the Harvard Professor.

Because a guy makes $12/hour or a guy makes $153,000/yr salary has no bearing.

You have know Idea how hard he does or doesn't work, only assumption and we know the saying there

Using your hourly wage earner versus anyone making a high salary is a slippery slope, where does it stop where does it start?

If I make $60/hour working from home, you make $20/hour working in a shop and Joe Lawyer makes $200/hour is that a basis to judge who is a better man?

A lot of people spout off about liberty and personal rights on here, yet it seems when many of them here that someone makes more than they do for a job they percieve as easier they back tract, hmmmm, souinds like class envy to me.

For the record, I did voice my opinion to my county legislature about this back then, and contrary to what you might think, I was then and am now of the opinion that the Legislature as the GCDEC's direct supervisor should make changes.

But doi not tell me that this new job and economic benefit should be clouded by last years news, settled news at that

Mark Brudz
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I think that this is a matter for an election, not an issue to cloud a great event for the county.

We did that last November,

I am not so myopic as some to cast a shadow on good news with an issue that needs to be determined at the ballot box.

JUST TO BE CLEAR, STEVE HYDE SHOULD NOT HAVE AUTHORIZED HIS OWN BONUS, THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE BY LEGISLATURE IN MY OPINION. THE AMOUNT OF HIS BONUS SHOULD HAVE BEEN A LEGISLATIVE ISSUE AS WELL, I AM NOT OPPOSED TO THE $40K I AM OPPOSED TO THE PROCESS THAT AWARDED IT

BOTTOM LINE THOUGH IS THIS FACTORY IS A GREAT EVENT FOR BATAVIA, OLD ISSUES DO NOT CHANGE THAT.

Mark Brudz
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Mark P, Perhaps that is because when she analysed the results she saw the benefit in thier accomplishments. Lets review what she said,

"Genesee County should be very proud of the achievements of our GCEDC. The recent ground breaking by Alpina in our newly opened Agricultural Park, and even more recently the announcement of the Wave Project in the same Park promises an investment of $206 million dollars in the economic health of our area and a resulting 186 jobs. The GCEDC was able to participate in 30 project “wins” and enabled $51.3 million of investment over the 2011 fiscal year. There were additional achievements, new cooperative work force training programs, businesses expanding, jobs retained….do not think that all this would have happened without the inspired and dedicated work of the GCEDC and their team. Their success is our success. Great work!"

Now could it possibly be that as head of the legislature she has a handle on what accomplishments were achieved.

Confession time, I am no fan of Steve Hyde personally, but in years past I have done business with the GCDEC, you people have no idea what they actually do, I can tell you from personal experience, they do not just sit around drinking coffee.

Again for the record,

Steve Hyde assigning his own bonus - WRONG SHOUILDN'T HAVE HAPPENED

The Bonuses themselves and how much they make, a legislative issue, the voters spoke last November.

Is the tax abatement and deal struck with Pepsi a win for the county

YOU BET YOUR SWEET BIPPIE IT WAS!

C. M. Barons
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Why would PepsiCo buy one of the biggest dairies in Russia and enter joint venture with the biggest dairy in Germany and locate its plant in the heart of NYS dairyland? Why would Pepsico entertain contracts with Indian and Chinese dairy product manufacturers after locating its new yoghurt plant in Genesee County? Where will PepsiCo buy its raw milk, milk protein and whey powder?

Wimm Bill Dann has 30 production sites, in 16 cities, from Vladivostok to Kiev, and owns a subsidiary company in Amsterdam. PepsiCo purchased the Russian dairy products manufacturer Wimm-Bill-Dann in December 2010, agreeing to 66% of Wimm-Bill-Dann for $3.8 billion.

Theo Müller purchased the large British dairy, Robert Wiseman. Müller company is the biggest private dairy in Germany, average yearly profit of €3.5 billion, maker of popular Müller Milch milk drinks and Weihenstephan yoghurt. It is co-investor in with PepsiCo to develop and market milk treats in Batavia.

Mark Brudz
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You crack me up guy, because they aim to dominate world market.

Think about about it, piece of their economy building enterprise just migt have been located in AVON or sometown in PA, instead it;s here

C. M. Barons
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I don't think it is wrong-minded to address what may have been an expectation based upon new dairy product manufacturers moving to Genesee County. We have family farms that are struggling with an economic reality: running a medium or small dairy farm is not profitable. So when it was announced that two yoghurt manufacturing plants were opening, it would not be unreasonable to assume that demand would cause raw milk prices to rise, enhancing profitability and rescuing those family businesses. Instead our (which includes the small farm owners) tax dollars have been utilized to enhance the bottom line for dairy farms in Britain, Germany, Russia, China and India. I think this just might come as disappointment to some county residents. I won't deny that any industrial growth in the region is beneficial. Whoever negotiated the terms by which PepsiCo came to locate in Genesee County MIGHT have included some provision to ensure local dairy farms be guaranteed an opportunity to profit.

Howard B. Owens
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Milk, like oil, is a global commodity. Buying more from Genesee County won't raise the price any more than buying it in Germany.

The small dairy farm struggles not because of lack of demand for its products, but because it lacks the resources to compete in a global commodity market, which not only entails dealing with the price swings of selling product, but also of buying feed. Larger operations have the cash flow and the resources to hedge and protect profits.

What will help family farm operations the most is local people buying local food. This is good for the local economy and good for the environment.

As for where Wave Holding buys its milk, the larger dairy producers in our area should be able to increase production (which modern technology makes much easier to do) to help meet some of the demand. If the milk is available here, it will likely come from here. The milk will be of better quality when shipped a shorter distance and less expensive to procure. At the end of the day, though, Pepsi and Alpina will need to milk to make the product, and if they can't get it locally or regionally then they will go to Michigan or elsewhere to get what they need.

Robin Murphy
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By your calculations the 20 an hour job 40 miles away would still pull in an extra $350 a week with the gas taken out. That is 1400 dollars a month more, I think that well makes it worth the drive.

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