Did you know…
The Niagara Power Company was one a privately owned company that paid City Property Tax?
At one point, the taxes paid by this private company contributed to 40% of our City’s budget. Now, the New York Power Authority operates a larger, more profitable power project, yet pays no real estate tax to our City.
2015 was a record breaking year for the New York State Park at Niagara Falls.
It is believed that the State surpassed its previous record year with more than 6 weeks left of the regular tourist season. Although the State generates millions of dollars of profit from our park, the State forces us to use our Casino money to pay to USA Niagara, the State’s development corporation for our City.
Three words: The Love Canal.
We all know of the health problems that the Love Canal has caused our innocent residents. After the Love Canal was remediated, our City was left with a huge area of vacant lots and dilapidated housing. These were once robust neighborhoods of middle class tax paying residents. Yet, the State swooped in and stole the Love Canal proceeds without any thought towards rebuilding our destroyed neighborhoods.
The International Bridge Commission has millions of visitors passing across its bridges in Niagara Falls every year.
Despite the fact that bridge crossings generates millions of dollars in profit every year for the Bridge Commission, they only contribute approximately $35,000 per year to local civic groups. Where is the money going? Who is monitoring them? And why are they permitted to operate within our city, with the protection of our public safety and use of our infrastructure, and they pay no property taxes?
Who oversees the New York Power Authority?
A recent audit by the State Comptroller revealed that the power authority has no oversight and its operations are virtually impossible to be audited by the Comptroller. Yet, in his audit, the State Comptroller revealed that NYPA owned two private jets, and staffed multiple pilots and employees to coordinate travel for the board members. Does a public authority really need two private jets? Does it need a staff to coordinate travel for its board members? Shouldn’t there be some real oversight with real accountability?
The State has claimed 75% of all Casino funds while the City, the host municipality, receives only 25%.
Like it or not, the City has been very financially vested in the Casino. First, our City gave up very valuable property to the Senecas for the development of the casino. Then, the City provides infrastructure and public safety for the patrons. Importantly, it is quite possible that the casino actually hurt local tax paying businesses because local businesses cannot compete with the tax free casino eateries and bars inside. What has the State sacrificed to justify their share of their casino money?
New York State has stolen thousands of acres of prime real estate in Niagara.
The State has cut our city off from our natural wonder with its state park and the Robert Moses Parkway. The State has inundated our city with power lines and underground tunnels for the benefit of its power project. The State has taken not only our Niagara Falls park, but it also has taken all possible revenue generated therein. And the State has taken advantage of the water rights with the Maid of the Mist. Yet our City has to have the yearly debate about what public service shall be cut to balance our budget. Why do we continuously have to pay to support the State’s prosperous ventures while receiving nothing in return?