Our area’s high taxes and crippling regulations make it difficult for homes and buildings in our poorest neighborhoods to be repaired and revitalized. By creating Growth and Opportunity Zones, our most depressed areas will be given a chance to rebuild.

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My plan will address the areas of the county that have been ignored for too long.

It’s s a three step approach, which together will reshape the poorest communities in Erie County. I’ve pledged to be a county executive for all Erie County residents and to spread prosperity to every corner of the county. The current county executive is ignoring too many parts of this county.

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The creation of these Growth and Opportunity Zones will work to end blight and poverty in these areas by reducing or eliminating the tax disincentives to development, improvement, and construction.

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Where there are a large number of buildings in need of maintenance and repairs, the existing sales tax exemptions will be expanded to include repair and maintenance work, and not just capital improvements.

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And we should develop a blanket policy to approve assistance to any and all project in these zones.

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While I’ve worked across party lines to help grow the western New York economy, Mark Poloncarz has stood back and admired the cranes in the sky, but to be a community truly on the rise, we need to raise up our poorest neighborhoods.

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We can have the greatest medical campus and the most beautiful canal side, but if just a block away there are decaying houses and vacant land that people are discouraged from fixing, then we won’t reach the level I know we can.

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Success breeds success. The more homeowners and developers are able to invest in their properties, the greater the investments will be.

These neighborhoods can’t afford to keep having a caretaker county executive. They need a leader on the 16th floor of the Rath Building who won’t gloss over the problems facing our county.

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I will be that leader.

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For more on my Growth and Opportunity Zones, click here.

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