Wednesday, May 29, 2013

As Expected . . .

Oneida County approves deal with Oneida Indian Nation

The County Leg has again allowed itself to be bullied and high-pressured into taking action without having time to run the numbers or to consider the down side of this "agreement." . . . and there IS another perspective:  A rotten deal with 'casino Oneidas'

This is why people and businesses leave New York.  Government here fails to protect the average person's interests. Money and power are everything.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Little Competition . . . from the State!

It's awfully nice to see the governor recognize that New York's high level of taxation is a detriment to business ... such a detriment that he proposes tax free zones associated with State University campuses.

Yes, the governor said today as he repeated the plan in Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse: 100 percent tax free. 
"I mean tax free," he said at the SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. "That's why I said tax free."

Wow! What a deal!  But is it a good one?  And for Whom?

New Hartford has a nice Business Park.  So does Utica.  So does Oneida County at the old Airport in Whitestown.  So does Rome at Griffiss "International" Airport.  So does Frankfort in the "pumpkin patch."  These won't qualify for this special tax treatment.  So, local governments (and don't even think of private developers) now have to worry about competing with State facilities for new businesses.
Under the proposal, a business's tax-free status would last a decade. Workers would go five years without paying income taxes. After that, their first $200,000 of income would be tax free, under the governor's plan.
That's a heck of a deal if you are one of the lucky workers in one of the state-annointed businesses . . . but what about the rest of us?  When it comes to competition for employees, these state-annointed businesses will have a leg up.  How can you as a small business employer compete with this? So the State tips the scales in the competition for employees in favor of the businesses in their tow.

These workers will be no different from everyone else --- except that they get special tax treatment.  To the extent that we all "benefit" from the operations of our State government, why should the State create a special class for them?  Why shouldn't they pay their fair share?  That means that the rest of us will be paying their share.

Frankly, all this is is a recipe for more State control of the economy and more power for those in government.  Certain businesses that curry favor with the party in power will get (1) special financial benefits and (2) get a government created advantage over their competition. The the root causes of the State's economic malaise will remain unresolved: over taxation, over regulation and, in general, too much government.

I guess it is too much to expect the State to lower taxes for everyone ...

If everyone were treated alike no one would feel beholden to the politicians.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Who Owns the N.H. "Public" Library?

Seems like a silly question who owns a "public" library . . . but there are indications that all in New Hartford is not what it seems. . . .

At the end of April in an OD article about New Hartford's handling of FOIL appeals was this teaser:
Wiatr’s request for a legal opinion from town Attorney Herbert Cully regarding the New Hartford Public Library and its ownership was the most controversial.
The relationship between attorney and client, in this case the Town Board, is a main reason why Cully said he was uncomfortable in allowing his opinion to be released. Also, in potential future litigations, his opinion could be construed as the town’s view.
Certainly the "client" the Town Board could authorize release of this opinion. Why did it not? Don't Town taxpayers have a right to this information?

The plot thickened yesterday by an OD letter to the editor "New Hartford Library owes public an explanation" (scroll down) which called the owners "a mystery."

The mystery deepens when you consider that the 1993 land sale agreement uses the language "the Seller agrees to sell to the Town of New Hartford" but the deed to the property is made out to the "Board of Trustees of the New Hartford Public Library of the Town of New Hartford, New York" . . . Shortly thereafter the Town Board approved bonding $600,000.00 for construction of the library . . . on property that was not deeded to the Town, apparently.

So, just who does own the New Hartford "Public" Library?

Saturday, May 04, 2013

OC: Overtaxing . . .

From the Rome Sentinel: County ends 2012 with $8.4M surplus.
Record sales tax receipts and lower than projected spending left Oneida County with an $8.4 million budget surplus for 2012 . . .
Nice . . . but Oneida County is also one of the most heavily taxed counties in the NATION when it comes to property taxes as a percentage of property value ...

ADD TO THAT the 8.75% sales tax we pay here -- also one of the highest sales taxes in the country. Anyone who travels to other parts of the country immediately realizes the difference when shopping. We have become too used to being nickled-and-dimed to death.

The County plans to use some of its surplus money for "economic development." The County already has a policy of exempting certain politically connected developers from the sales tax . . . meaning that (1) YOU are subsidizing the profits of  these developers and (2) the sales tax revenue could be even higher.

The county is in the process of obtaining the necessary state permission to extend its 1 percent and 0.75 percent sales taxes. The county’s 3 percent sales tax is permanent and does not have to be renewed every two like the other two levies.
The 8.75% sales tax -- originally implemented to close a financial gap in OC providing mandated medical care -- is a blot on the county's reputation, a disincentive for both people and businesses to do business here.

Now is the time for NYS to DENY Oneida County the permission to extend at least the 0.75% tax.  Leaving a little money in our pockets will help ALL local businesses instead of just the politically connected ones.