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Press Pass: No end in sight for development tax breaks

Jay Moran & Business First reporter Jim Fink in studio
File photo
Jay Moran & Business First reporter Jim Fink in studio

The tax breaks issued for Uniland's plan for a mixed-use complex at Delaware and Chippewa has touched off a community debate over the issue. While some legislators are clamoring for an end to development tax abatements, Business First's Jim Fink doesn't see that happening anytime soon.

"We're nowhere near that point. I wish we were," Fink said during WBFO's Press Pass Monday morning.

"Here's the reality. Every community offers some form of tax abatements or incentives."

The development will be home to the new corporate headquarters for Delaware North, which is also receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax incentives for the move. While critics have assailed the  package, Fink believes the Buffalo-based company offers a fair return by staying in the city.

"Over the 20-year period Delaware North's impact, (Deputy County Executive) Rich Tobe figured out, is close to $1 billion," Fink said.

"That's huge."

Another lingering issue, crossing delays at the Peace Bridge, has grabbed the attention of Senator Charles Schumer. Schumer wants the inspection booths at the bridge fully staffed in order to avoid the increasing delays for those crossing into the United States.

"The Senator is not wrong on this. He's spot on, actually," said Fink who believes Schumer could team with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Brian Higgins to make a difference on the matter.

"Use your clout in Washington to change this. Pressure the Customs and Border Protection Agency to properly staff those borders. It's hurting our economy," Fink said.


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Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.