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COMIDA joins NYSEDC lawsuit

The County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency joined 34 other IDAs in New York and the state Economic Development Council in a lawsuit that seeks to halt the state’s taxation of IDAs’ gross revenues.

The lawsuit was filed in Supreme Court in Albany last week, and a hearing is scheduled for April 9. New York IDAs were required to pay the tax by March 31.

The gross revenues tax was included in the 2009-2010 state budget and applied against IDAs’ 2008 revenues. The groups claim the tax is based not only on IDAs’ own revenues, but also on any pass-through funds, including state or federal grants, federal Stimulus Act money and payments in lieu of taxes — PILOTs, which are collected by IDAs for distribution to local jurisdictions.

The Article 78 petition names as respondents Gov. David A. Paterson, the state Division of the Budget, Budget Director Robert Megna, the Department of Taxation and Finance, Acting Commissioner of Taxation Jamie Woodward, the Division of the Treasury and Treasurer of the Division of Treasury Aida Brewer.

The petition asks the court to declare invalid and enjoin the present or future imposition of any state tax or assessment on the IDAs “under the guise of cost recovery of central government services.”

The Ontario, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Onondaga, Tompkins and Niagara counties’ IDAs also joined the suit, along with the Village of Fairport IDA.

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