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Bausch + Lomb logoWe know more today about why Bausch + Lomb’s new owner, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, decided to move its headquarters from Rochester to New Jersey.

New Jersey offered a whopping $39.5 million grant to Valeant to make the move. The company has 274 jobs in Bridgewater right now. Moving the headquarters will add another 500 jobs.

Valeant has revenue of $3.55 billion.

Meanwhile, after B+L laid off 400 people in Rochester as part of this headquarters shuffle, New York State offered the company about $12 million in incentives to get B+L to manufacture a contact lens line in Rochester and hire 100 people back. Rochester Gas & Electric chipped in $1 million.


Congress should outlaw these kinds of bribes that harm communities, workers and taxpayers.


Links of the Day:


Can someone explain to me why I-Square is getting a $2 million state grant? This project has already started construction, meaning the bank awarded financing based on a plan that did not include these funds. If there are changes or cost overruns, shouldn’t the public have been told? And why do we have to foot the bill? See the full list of Regional Economic Development Council pork here.

– Rush-Henrietta’s superintendent wrote an amazing letter spelling out why tax breaks for malls are not economic development.

Wilmorite head Tom Wilmot wants to build a casino in Seneca County.

– Rochester developer David Flaum wants to build a casino in Albany, as well as Henrietta and the Catskills.

– Governor Cuomo is against legalizing pot, but the movement among lawmakers is growing.

– City Councilman Adam McFadden was shot as a teen gang member.

– I’ve become a big fan of CBS This Morning. It’s an actual news show – by design.

– A mystery manuscript found in Rochester was written by a black man in the Auburn prison in the 1850s.

– Megyn Kelly assures everyone Santa is white. Um, Santa isn’t real.


Quote of the Day:



Picture of the Day:



9 Responses to Bribes & “Economic Development”

  1. December 12, 2013 at 12:23 pm Lee Drake responds:

    So every time you rail against COMIDAs, Tax Incentives, and organizations like GRE – recognize that every other community in the nation is using these exact tactics to be competitive for business. When we don’t we are costing Rochester families jobs. We are costing small businesses lost revenue. We are costing ourselves the lost revenue in taxes on those individuals and the businesses they frequent. It may not be the best situation but it is REALITY that if we don’t compete we will be outcompeted by these other communities who are willing to compete. These days, and these days especially it’s much easier for businesses to pick up and move. And picking up and moving is exactly what they do. Followed shortly by an exodus of employees for whom the only reason they are staying in Rochester is the job they no longer have. You can object to it all you want, but it’s not illegal, and to not participate means lost jobs, lost revenue and a shrinking base of residents. We’re not the 5th poorest city for no reason.

    • December 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm theodore kumlander responds:

      that is a lot of Bull Spit

    • “.. 5th poorest city ..”? Documentation, please? (Help us self-educate, here.)

      So I guess this isn’t where mom says “if all the kids say they’re going to jump off a bridge then it’s smart for you to jump off a bridge too.” If we don’t do this, you say we can not compete? It’s often difficult to do what’s right – or so I hear. Wonder if one community stood up and said “no, this is wrong” – if it could start a trend, helping other communities to find the courage to say “no.” Seems to me whenever someone uses the ‘we have no choice’ argument, it’s often to try to keep those who are naive and innocent (those like myself) in the dark. I heard someone looked into the matter and found the COMIDA in question had approved EVERY single request – UNANIMOUSLY – going back for quite a long period of time. Perhaps COMIDA doesn’t have the resources to research every request to make sure the facts presented to them are correct – if that is were the case however, perhaps it is a reason COMIDA should not exist. Maybe a smaller Henrietta, smaller Rochester and smaller Monroe County is for the best – a place where poor, tough and honest people can be together.

  2. December 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    this is how the 1% reward each other for being rich , what is surprising it is standard operating procedure between state government’s and corporations.

  3. Lee Drake, you’re correct that Rochester can’t unilaterally stop the development-by-bribery madness. That’s why Congress should do something on a federal level to end special tax giveaways designed to steal jobs from other cities.

  4. In the end when the give aways are all given out, NYS still has way higher taxes in lots of other areas, like property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes than almost every other state.

    With the biggest natural resource for generating power, we have some of the highest electricity costs in the country. Our main expressway that links the state is a high Toll road, Our gas prices for cars are some of the highest in the country. Our schools spend more per pupil than almost any other state, yet our Urban schools graduate some of the lowest percentage of students in the country and most schools rank in the middle of the pack or lower nation wide. Inner city kids who don’t graduate makes them close to unemployable, and so crime rates are high. More people leave the state than move here.

    And with all this our political leaders think they are hero’s for not raising the tax rate. When what we need are major tax reductions in all areas.

    And who is most responsible for all this? The DEM party who people re-elect to lead the state, the assembly, most cities and most urban school districts.

    But yea Economic Development grants are bad? There is a lot worse.

    Why did we give the Wilmots a grant to grow and improve their existing retail Malls? IF they didn’t want to keep them up, then other retail will flourish. And then they should not get state money and grants to build a casino out side of Monroe County. Their two major developments Eastview and this Casino will take tax money out of Monroe County and give it to neighboring counties.

  5. I pose two questions.
    There are no right or wrong answers. I’m just trying to see how people view the issue.

    First, you are the decision maker for Rochester. There is a new successful business that is looking to build a plant to produce its product. It has the entire globe to choose from. What would you say to entice the business to settle in Rochester over every other place? Why Rochester?

    Secondly, you are the decision maker of the above business. You are responsible for your employees (quality of life, fair wages, fair tax on the wages, etc), your customers (being able to deliver quality goods on time, keeping prices competitive) and your investors (without the investors you wouldn’t have funds to start or run the business). What are the factors that will make you locate your business in an area?

  6. Just an observation of how many stories are written, they tend to focus on a company’s REVENUE. In the above story the quote is, “Valeant has revenue of $3.55 billion”

    Revenue is not the best number to focus on. It is used mainly to draw attention. For some reason large amounts of revenue are bad.

    As a medical products manufacturer, would you want them to do research into new drugs? How many should they do research on at a time? How many years has there been a search for a cure for breast cancer? What about ovarian cancer? Lung cancer? Prostate cancer? AIDS? Lesser publicized diseases?

    Look in the

    Should they hire only top people to do the research or see who will work at a low wage? Should they have state of the art labs?

    Now where will this money come from? Maybe their REVENUE will be used to fund research. Don’t treat REVENUE as being a bad thing. The revenue these companies earn are what found cures polio, typhoid fever, measles, pertussis, tetanus, etc.

    Stifle revenue for companies and you stifle growth.

    Personally, don’t you want your own revenue to grow? If you earn more than the person next to you is that bad? If they earn more than you. is that bad?

    Who is to determine what amount is enough?

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