Ithaca Beer Company looking for tax abatement
Ithaca, NY (WENY) -- Ithaca Beer Company is looking to for a short term tax freeze. The hope is the tax abatement will get them back on track financially.
Ithaca Beer Co., wants a tax freeze. They hope the financial support will come from the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency who could vote to approve the legislation. The abatement come proposal comes in response to development and expansion of the property and having to build a pr-treatment sewage facility that allegedly pumps extra pH into sewage water. What was happening can almost be compared to a “funnel”.
Just looking for a little assistance on a big project that we had to install. So we're looking to really stretch out our tax abatement for a few more years.” said Dan Mitchell, the owner of Ithaca Beer Company.
The T.C.I.D.A. hosted a public forum around 5:00pm Friday night to hopefully get some input on what the public's opinion was regarding the proposal. Two people, including a near by neighbor voiced support. The neighbor even touched on the fact that the brewery is a main stay. However the abatement proposal has been talked about for sometime and other people and businesses feel differently.
“Frankly most of the people that email me are against it. They own their own businesses maybe and they're like well, when my business was struggling I wouldn't get an abatement." said Mike Sigler, a member of the agency and a Tompkins County Legislator.
The roughly $300,000 tax abatement may seem like a lot but speaking with the owner, he said the original estimate for the water treatment facility was over $800,00.
Board members asked a number of questions to Mitchell. Some even argued, Ithaca Beer Co., could afford to take the hit. But Mitchell said the abatement would help the future of the brewery. Mitchell said the facility wasn't budgeted for and were not made aware they needed the facility until it was to late. He also argued the restaurant may be popular but it only accounts for about 25% of their revenue. The rest comes from their beer distribution business, which even though Ithaca Beer Co. Is in over a dozen states, it's now become a more competitive craft beer market .
“I think the tax abatement that we're getting is certainly offset by everything that we've provided to the town and to the area, the Ithaca name for the last 20-years.” said Mitchell.
More discussions are expected to happen on both sides.
“Ithaca Beer is an iconic local brand. They've been around, really forged new ground when they came on the scene so we don't want to loose them but then again you have to be fair to all the players.” said Sigler.
If the abatement proposal passes, it'll ensure Ithaca Beer Co. will be around for another 20 years.
The proposal is on the next agenda set for September 11th.