Alex MacNicol, director of the Erie Regional Planning Commission, is defending the work done for the county by Greg Sherman, Erie County's economic development consultant.
As I wrote in Friday's paper, the Erie County Commissioners debated Sherman's work before voting 2-1 to approve his contract, with Tom Ferrell and Nancy McKeen voting to OK the contract and Bill Monaghan voting against it.
When the county offers a local company a tax abatement, Sherman is the person who examines the company's tax filings to make sure it is paying all of the taxes it should be paying, MacNicol explained. He said he can document Sherman has collected more than $525,000 in taxes by catching mistakes made by companies.
Most of that money went to local schools, said MacNicol, who added that schools must approve any agreement giving companies a tax break.
"I think it's really important for us to have that credibility with the schools," MacNicol said. "If we abate taxes, we want to make sure the agreement is properly monitored to make sure both sides are complying with the agreement."