The Urban Jobs Task Force has called for the city, and COR Development Co., to come to an agreement “out-of-court” over whether the company will provide jobs for city residents, and whether the $44 million in tax breaks COR will receive from the county for the Inner Harbor Development Project is fair.
“Together, we can craft an out-of-court settlement that benefits all, especially city residents looking for job, training and contracting opportunities,” the task force stated.
Mayor Stephanie Miner sued the company Dec. 15, for deliberately seeking a tax deal, or “payment in lieu of taxes” (PILOT) deal, from Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency, in order to avoid an agreement with the city, which she said would have bound the company to provide project-related jobs to city residents and minorities for the $324 million development project.
The move has renewed an ongoing controversy between city and county governments, and prompted Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney to state there had been misconceptions regarding OCIDA’s tax deal with COR, and Onondaga County legislators to claim the mayor’s lawsuit may have halted the project altogether.
COR filed a motion for state Supreme Court Judge James Murphy to dismiss the city’s lawsuit Dec. 18, which Murphy will hear in court Dec. 30.
In addition, the task force has sent Murphy a letter, requesting he direct the city and COR to work together, out-of-court, to negotiate the terms of the project.
But, Miner’s administration has said the mayor stands by her decision to file the lawsuit, which involved a $75 million “taxpayer investment,” including $44 million in tax exemptions, and $31 million in state funds.
“With this level of public investment in a project, it is critical that we ensure the people of the city of Syracuse — where one out of two children will be born into poverty, and many are seeking the dignity of work — are respected by their government and benefit from that investment,” the city said in a statement.
COR officials were not immediately available to respond to a request for comment on the matter.