The Hamburg Town Board rescinded the action asking the state to look at taxing the agricultural society's property [click here for article]. In a nutshell Supervisor Walters, who voted against the original resolution, and Betty Newell of the Chamber of Commerce believe that taxing the property will equate to the loss of jobs and surrounding businesses because the Casino will "go dark." It appears that Mrs. Newell should do some research on the casino concept. You see, Mrs Newell, casinos exist to bring people into the facility and not to support the surrounding community. Casino's want gamblers to get into debt and spend every drop of their income and borrowing inside of their facility. If you don't understand this concept, visit Niagara Falls and drive up and down Pine Ave, it is a ghost town. Still not convinced, head down to Salamanca. Additionally, most of the jobs created in the Casino are filled by people who do not live in the Hamburg Community. One needs only to drive down South Park Ave and noticed the hordes standing, waiting for the bus to take them back down South Park Ave. to the City of Buffalo. This raises other questions. Why is the bus stop on South Park Ave? Why doesn't the Fairgrounds give the nod to the NFTA to pull into the facility so the alleged scores of gamblers and workers can be dropped off at a reasonably safe place? Is this the same kind of issue that existed with the Galleria Mall? I propose that taxing the Fairgrounds won't change their business model one bit, but it may create an equitable distribution of the tax burden. Wouldn't the homeowner like to share the taxes with the millions going into the pockets of the Agricultural Society, the New York State Gaming Authority and Delaware North Companies.
It seems as though the Fairgrounds is not alone in their acceptance of corporate welfare.
If you do a little research into the Hamburg Industrial Development Agency or HIDA [click here to access the HIDA site] they give tax exemptions on county, town, village and school taxes to seemingly every business that claims they will create new jobs (FTE) [click here for annual report and scroll down to see the companies getting tax exemptions]. That shifts the tax burden from the business recipient onto the homeowner (corporate welfare). Most of the companies benefitting from HIDA tax exemptions are located in Frontier. Although I question the tax exemption of some corporations, I do believe the HIDA does some great things. I look around Hamburg and I see improvements everywhere, especially in the Village; JP Fitzgeralds Bar and Restaurant recently applied to the HIDA. However, some of the businesses receiving tax exemptions need a second look. It is interesting that Rubber Stamp Board (RSB) member Matthew Dils sits on this agency's board. I'm sure he rubber stamps everything as a member of this agency's board and is so willing to transfer the tax burden from business to the homeowner. [click here to review the minutes from the meetings and read who is applying for enhancement money and tax exemptions].