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Harris Beach, Hodgson Russ profiting off IDAs [Video]

Watchdogs release reports on New York’s industrial development agencies — one detailing legal fees, the other tax breaks and job promises.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — When New York’s industrial development agencies grant tax breaks, it’s not just local companies that benefit — two upstate law firms walk away with major paydays, too.

Hodgson Russ and Harris Beach — based in Buffalo and the Rochester area, respectively — earn millions of dollars in fees each year, according to research from the watchdog groups Reinvent Albany and Good Jobs First.

That report comes on the heels of state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s annual IDA report, also released Wednesday. The comptroller’s report showed that for fiscal year 2022, IDAs in Western New York granted $153.1 million in tax breaks in exchange for $12.2 billion in investment and nearly 25,000 jobs. The tax breaks meant schools and municipalities lost out on a total of $119.7 million in revenue.

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