Uprising against Orange County IDA

| 06 Sep 2022 | 10:16

To the editor:

Elected officials sent this letter to the Orange County Industrial Development Agency:

Dear IDA Board:

While we appreciate the mission of economic development and, when appropriate, incentives, it is paramount that Orange County’s villages, towns, cities, and school districts have a formal role in the decision-making process when considering property tax abatements. The Orange County IDA makes decisions that can have a significant impact on our tax base, revenue, and budgets yet we are completely relegated to the sidelines: we have no vote, no role in negotiations, and are left to simply write a letter or share comments at a public hearing that can and oftentimes are disregarded.

We are elected officials who have been entrusted at the ballot box to do right by our taxpayers; furthermore, we are the ones who must deal with the budget ramifications of the IDA’s decisions. As such, it is high time we receive a seat at the table.

Moving forward, we insist on being treated the same way as the Rockland County IDA collaborates with its municipalities and school districts. The Rockland County IDA votes on whether to authorize “up to” a certain PILOT then leaves it to the taxing jurisdictions to negotiate the tax break - or refuse a PILOT. This cooperative approach has not stymied economic development in Rockland County all the while ensuring local leaders have a direct say in what is happening in their community.

In order for the Orange County IDA to maintain the confidence of its local leaders, it must adopt the same approach as is employed in Rockland. We and the taxpayers we represent deserve a formal seat at the table.


Joe Betro, Town of Goshen Supervisor

L. Stephen Brescia, Village of Montgomery Mayor

Joseph Bucco, Village of Washingtonville Mayor

Thomas Burke, Town of Woodbury Supervisor

Anthony Cardone, Town of Monroe Supervisor

Joseph D’Onofrio, Village of Highland Falls Mayor

Joe Destefano, City of Middletown Mayor

Jesse Dwyer, Village of Greenwood Lake Mayor

Ralph Ford, Town of Minisink Supervisor

Andrew Giacomazza, Village of Woodbury Mayor

Daniel Harter, Jr., Village of Florida Mayor

Torrance Harvey, City of Newburgh Mayor

Dennis Leahy, Village of Maybrook Mayor

Bob Livsey, Town of Highlands Supervisor

Brian Maher, Town of Montgomery Supervisor

David McFadden, Village of Tuxedo Park Mayor

Lou Medina, Village of Harriman Mayor

George Meyers, Town of New Windsor Supervisor

Denise Quinn, Town of Wawayanda Supervisor

John Ramos, Village of Walden Mayor

Gary Spears, Town of Deerpark Supervisor

Michael Sweeton, Town of Warwick Supervisor

Scott Wohl, Village of Goshen Mayor

Josh Wojehowski, Town of Cornwall Supervisor

Brian Wona, Village of Otisville Mayor

David Zubikowski, Town of Greenville Supervisor

Steve Neuhaus, Orange County Executive

State Senator James Skoufis, 39th District

State Senator Mike Martucci, 42nd District