Monday, June 16, 2008

Unfair Advantages . . .

We read over the weekend the Hotel Utica folks' complaints about the tax advantages that its competitor, the Radisson, has received that the Hotel Utica did not. (Since this is nothing new, why we should read about this now is another one of those ODd things that convinces us that our local newspaper plays politics rather than reports news. Regardless . . . )

While the Radisson's tax advantages are clearly unfair to the Hotel Utica, they are understandable because when they were given, there was NO downtown hotel. Nevertheless, the Hotel Utica's complaints should cause us to reexamine policies that dole out advantages to newcomers over taxpaying competitors.

Unmentioned in the article are the advantages being given to the New Hartford Business Park. While school taxes will be collected, they will be diverted to pay for a road to service the park. (The legality of this is clearly questionable because there is nothing in the Education Law that authorizes Boards of Education to divert their tax monies to non-educational purposes. . . . but that is a side issue). Again, this particular developer is being given an advantage that is not being given to competitors . . . and others should be expected to complain (but no one in the media seeks them out).

These complaints about unfair advantages should remind us of the words of Article VIII of the NYS Constitution:

Section  1.  No  county,  city, town, village or school district shall
give or loan any money or property to or in aid of any individual, or
private corporation or association, or private undertaking, or become
directly or indirectly the owner of stock in, or bonds of, any private
corporation or association; nor shall any county, city, town, village or
school district give or loan its credit to or in aid of any individual, . . .
There was a reason why these words were written.


Anonymous said...

So..... when are the politicians who are transgressing this law going to be impeached?

clipper said...

Another excellent piece Strike! It is amazing that ANY of these "patronage" projects were allowed, considering the article in our state constitution that you reference.

It is simply one more example of how the law is either diluted or ignored when granting political favors in exchange for votes and campaign dollars.

I was amazed to read that the Sheraton was given a THIRTY FIVE YEAR deal! That is ridiculous!

That hotel was also built by local developers. No wonder the developers involved with Hotel Utica are jealous of the deal.

Just another prime example of "The rich get richer" while us poor working class slobs pay the freight!

If Hotel Utica needs garage improvements, I personally think they need to wait until they are profitable enough to pay for the job themselves. What the hell, it could end up with us financing TWO projects for two developers, and the hotel may still end up in foreclosure. You can bet your butt, that they will suffer no "personal" financial loss, or impact on their quality of life, if the hotel folds. What they don't stick to us as taxpayers, they will write off of their own businesses over a period of time.

If there is federal or state money for a parking garage, it needs to be the garage that has been discussed to serve ALL of downtown, and it needs to be located on the east side of Genessee Street.

That is strictly my "semi-informed" opinion, and you all know about "Clipper's semi-informed or uninformed opinions, LOL.

Anonymous said...

Why would the NH Biz Park be mentioned in a story about two downtown Utica hotels?

Strikeslip said...

NH Biz Park is another example of government favoring one person or group over another. . . . There will be a hotel in the NHBP development, so whatever break the NHBP developer gets on the cost of a road translates into a subsidy to the hotel.

clipper said...

NH biz park should be put on hold until the sewer upgrades have taken place. Why compound the problem with more hookups? Obviously NH officials and developers don't care about anyone "downstream" or about their fellow citizens in Oneida County, as long as they can feed their own greed.

New Hartford needs a business park like Dolly Parton needs bigger implants. A new hotel in the business park will be the last nail in the coffin of the Hotel at the Rt 8 and Rt 12 interchange.

County infrastructure cannot handle any more explosive growth in the New Hartford area. Mark my words, the day is coming when WE will be paying for New Hartford's greed in our county taxes. That is just plain, unadulterated BS.

Are these people totally oblivious to what is going on in the area. Last summer there was a water shortage scare. The sewer system is overtaxed with the volume of sewage it handles now, and traffic flow is getting to be a nightmare. give it a break people.

If any tax breaks are given, let them be on the backs of New Harford citizens, and not on county taxpayers. NO COUNTY TAX INCENTIVES!!!