Bethlehem firm World Logistics Group Inc. gets tax help

"They are going to be distributing snowboards and wiring up snowsuits with MP3 players," said Cunningham. "The area is already industrially zoned, and this will help bring back some more jobs in the area."

Cunningham explained that the Empire Zone designation means that World Logistics Group will now be eligible to receive state assistance on their taxes. However, because the state is picking up some of the tab, Cunningham said, the local town tax base won't be affected.

Bethlehem will still receive its taxes from the company, not to mention the effect of having an additional 300 employees driving around town.

George Leveille, the town's economic development director, said it is always good to have jobs brought to the area. He said that World Logistics Group has already benefited the town, and the new jobs will only build on that benefit to the area.

"They moved in about a year ago in a small way," said Leveille, indicating only a limited number of employees currently work there. "More importantly, this is a building that has been vacant for two or three years."

The company moved into the 300,000-square-foot warehouse after a stationary and paper products company moved out nearly three years ago. The previous company's tenure had been brief, according to Leveille.

"This is a real positive outcome with what was previously a disappointment," Leveille concluded.

World Logistics Group representatives did not return calls on when the expansion of jobs will begin.

The bill passed in the county legislature as Local Law A of 2008, and it grants specific access to Empire Zone benefits to a "regionally significant distribution project."

Although this isn't Cotrofeld's first sponsored bill to pass the Legislature in his first term of service, he said it was the first bill he sponsored that "directly affects the town of Bethlehem."

"We're really breaking some nice new ground here," said Cotrofeld.""

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