Sen. Skoufis probes Orange County IDA’s multimillion-dollar tax break for Milmar Food Group

Sen. Skoufis and some activists are mad that the IDA awarded about $2.5 million in property-tax relief over 15 years to the Milmar Food Group to expand its operation in Goshen.

News 12 Staff

Feb 22, 2023, 10:24 PM

Updated 456 days ago

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A state Senate committee is investigating why an agency designed to aid economic growth gave a multimillion-dollar tax break to a company that might not have needed it.
State Sen. James Skoufis announced his investigations committee just started a deep examination of the Orange County Industrial Development Authority.
Sen. Skoufis and some activists are mad that the IDA awarded about $2.5 million in property-tax relief over 15 years to the Milmar Food Group to expand its operation in Goshen.
"They're either too arrogant or too stupid to learn lessons and make reforms themselves,” Sen. Skoufis said.
Milmar Food Group says the expansion would generate over $150 million in income over three years.
"That alone should have had the IDA take their application and put it in the wastebasket. But they didn't. But there's more,” Sen. Skoufis said.
Milmar wrote in its tax-relief application, that if they didn't get the tax break, it wouldn't cause them to move away, it would just take them longer to finish their expansion.
Milmar says the community would benefit because of 50 new jobs the project would create, and that 44 of those jobs would pay $35,000 a year.
"Good luck living anywhere in Orange County on $35,000. Thank you, IDA, for subsidizing $35,000 a year jobs,” Sen. Skoufis said.
The CEO of the IDA, Bill Fioravanti, says competition for workers is likely to force mil-mar to offer more money for those positions.
“I hope those are conservative figures, but they are starting points, and again I think market factors are going to increase those wages over time and in short order, frankly,” he says.
Fioravanti also says, an analysis by the IDA finds Milmar's expansion would have a local economic impact worth tens of millions of dollars.
Sen. Skoufis' office is sending record and information requests to the Orange County IDA to get the investigation started.
Sen. Skoufis says his office is also sending record requests to other IDAs around the state to see if they've approved pilots, like the one in Goshen.
An attorney representing Milmar says he's unable to contact the company's owner, and is not prepared to comment at this time.
News 12 also reached out directly to the owner but has not heard back.


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