'Wasteful' tax breaks for A&W and Moe's restaurants in Falls criticized by legislators (The Buffalo News)

Jonathan D. Epstein - The Buffalo News

January 27, 2023

Originally published in The Buffalo News on January 27, 2023.

Photo Credit: Jayu/Wikimedia Commons

State Sen. Sean Ryan and Assemblyman Jon Rivera on Friday denounced tax breaks recently awarded to a pair of restaurants in Niagara Falls, calling on the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency to reverse course.

The Democratic state Legislators also urged passage of legislation to close what they called a loophole in state law that allows retail projects to benefit from incentives meant to bolster tourism and distressed areas.

The lawmakers said in a statement they want to rein in IDAs that exercise broad discretion to waive taxes for businesses that don't need it, which results in "wasteful subsidies for projects that do not provide adequate benefits to the region."

They honed in on $172,000 in tax breaks that the NCIDA approved this month or is poised to approve next month for planned projects to open the region's first A&W restaurant and Niagara County's first Moe's Southwest Grill, both on Rainbow Boulevard.


"We need to stop IDAs from granting subsidies for projects that won’t benefit anyone except the developers and the IDAs themselves," Ryan said. "This is an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars and the Niagara County IDA should scrap this plan immediately."

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