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Planned IDA tax breaks should be subject to vote

The lead letter in Everybody’s Column on Oct. 8 was headlined, “Being smart about incentives will help the region prosper.” Following is how to be smarter and constitutionally legal.

In my long-ago education, a republican form of government meant revenue-raising was to be the responsibility of directly elected legislatures. All industrial development agency tax authorizations need to be voted on by the duly elected bodies of the affected taxing jurisdictions. Such electoral involvement offers no guarantee, but the process would be more open. Taxpayers would have the opportunity to be informed.

Additionally, as a matter of transparency, the number of county IDA properties taken off the tax rolls and their total assessed values need to be publicized.

Donald G. Hobel

North Tonawanda