Frustrated by Tax Breaks, Amherst IDA Vice Chairwoman Resigns

Aug. 5, 2018

In 2013, before she was a member of the IDA, Michele Marconi was the spokesperson for a group fighting plans for the Amherst Hyatt. 

The vice chairwoman of the Amherst Industrial Development Agency has resigned after the agency’s board approved nearly $1.2 million in tax breaks for what she labeled a “blatantly ineligible” hotel project.

Michele Marconi, who was a critic of the Amherst IDA’s practices before her January 2015 appointment to the board, said she is frustrated that she was not able to sway her colleagues to her point of view that the board approves too many lucrative tax breaks to projects that do not substantially benefit the public.

“It was a pattern of behavior that I was unable to change,” Marconi said in an interview Monday.

Marconi said she informed town officials of her resignation “five minutes” after the IDA board, by a 6-1 vote, last month approved $1.15 million in tax breaks for Uniland Development Co.’s plans to construct a $14.4 million hotel at the town-owned Northtown Center ice rink complex.

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