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Brown and Collins urge tax breaks for Delaware North project

Photo by Chris Caya

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Rep. Chris Collins are teaming up in support of doing "what's necessary to keep Delaware North in downtown Buffalo."

Brown, a Democrat, and Collins, a Republican, signed a letter to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency urging tax breaks for the 100-year-old company's expansion downtown. Brown said Delaware North grew in the city of Buffalo, becoming a global corporation.

"Now because of the concerns expressed in the community about the Delaware North headquarters, there are municipalities in different parts of the country that are prepared to reach out to this company and steal it," Brown said.   "That would be devastating to this community."

Reporters caught up with Delaware North Principal Jeremy Jacobs Jr. early Thursday evening. He said the company never made any threats to leave - it just wants to be treated fairly.

"It would be very, very hard for someone to convince us to leave town," said Jacobs.

Jacobs noted Geico's received tax breaks in Amherst work out to about $850,000 a job.  

"If you look at Yahoo -- you can argue -- I'm not sure how you do the math on that, but it is somewhere between $50 and $70 million worth of enticements, we're asking for a total of $4 [million]," said Jacobs.

Mayor Brown said this time he's only supporting Delaware North's tax break request. Earlier in the week, the project's developer, Uniland requested, the ECIDA table the request and it was granted.

If the $4 millon sales tax abatement is approved the company would create 65 new jobs at it's proposed new headquarters at Delaware and Chippewa.

Jacobs said that part of downtown has been home to his family's company for nearly 100 years.  

Assemblymembers Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Sean Ryan, both of Buffalo, are holding a public hearing on the tax break request November 12 at Evergreen Commons.