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DeWitt opposes new OCIDA proposal giving housing developers 100% tax exemptions

DEWITT, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The town of DeWitt is questioning a new proposal to expand housing in Central New York.

The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency is suggesting tax exemptions for housing developers.

“It’s a short-term fix to get more housing built. I understand what they are trying to do, and I’m in favor of what they are trying to do but I think we need to take a step back and take another week or two and come up with a fair compromise that works for all the towns and the county,” said DeWitt deputy supervisor Kerry Mannion.

“There is a great desire and need for affordable housing,” said OCIDA chairman Pat Hogan. “This is a way to incentivize developers to build high-end, affordable workforce housing, market-rate housing and senior citizen housing.”

The proposal comes as the county gets ready to welcome Micron workers.

“We’re expecting anywhere from 50,000 to 75,000 new people to move into Onondaga County because of micron, we’re already seeing that.”

The initial proposed plan includes a 100% tax exemption. However, Mannion says that municipalities throughout the county should be involved in the process.

“I think whether a project gets a 100% tax abatement or 75% tax abatement, I don’t think that should really change the pro forma for that apartment project,” he said. “If we start at 75, or whatever that number is, 75, 50, work with the county, work with the other towns and come up with a magic number. I know we can come up with it.”

Mannion says ShoppingTown Mall and the property across the street from Wegmans in DeWitt are two spots for developers.

Tax exemptions OCIDA says can make a deep impact on a tight housing market.

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