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How could Amherst IDA give Fidelis huge break?

“Amherst IDA gives Fidelis $2.5 million tax break,” as reported in The News on Oct. 19. For those people locally who don’t know Fidelis Care’s history, it is also known as the New York State Catholic Health Plan, which is owned by the Catholic Diocese of New York City. Its mission: to provide health care to the poor and needy regardless of race and religion.

As reported in the New York Post on Feb. 6, 2012, then Executive Vice President and COO the Rev. Patrick Frawley earned a total compensation of $1.5 million. He is now the president and COO. So much for “charity begins at home.”

I am appalled that this not-for-profit corporation is receiving tax breaks at all. The Catholic Church has very deep pockets. It needs tax breaks like the residents of Erie County need a tax hike. To quote Edward Stachura, “These developments are investments.” Partial investments in the Catholic Church, I would say. Fidelis would have built its building here without these tax “investments.” It recognizes the value of the work force in Western New York, and the lower cost of living and working here, which allows it to compensate its employees with less funds than it would take to pay downstate workers.

And we, the citizens of Amherst, will be helping to subsidize the Catholic Diocese. Shame on the IDA!

Wynne Elizabeth Trinca, R.N.

East Amherst