Tag Archives: subsidies

Occupy the ECIDA

17 Apr

In order to dissuade Occupy Buffalo from “creating a disturbance”, which is newspeak for “exercising their first amendment right to free speech in front of a public entity”, the Erie County Sheriff’s office overloaded the library auditorium with Deputies.

Occupy Buffalo issued the following on its site:

Slumlord Carl Paladino has a net worth of $150 million, and yet he wants more taxpayer money so he can make a profit by turning his dilapidated Greystone Manor into an upscale apartment building that none of us could ever afford to live in. Moreover, once the renovations are done, no further jobs will be created from this endeavor. It is all about Paladino making a profit at the taxpayers’ expense.

If you want to know more about where your taxes go, then come to this meeting and find out. Occupy the economy!

Also, please be aware that armed security may be present at this meeting. This is the reality in which we live. They try to instill fear in us with the threat of violence. But it will not deter us from pursuing truth and justice.

The jobs created by these tax breaks are temporary construction jobs.

The ECIDA meetings – during which politically well-connected people decide how other politically well-connected people get to spend public money – do not provide for public comment. The public hearing on the matter took place on April 9th, during which people were permitted to speak. So, when the Erie County IDA votes to give multimillionaire land speculator Carl Paladino hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales and mortgage tax breaks – incentives that cost the people money – the people are required to sit silently. We don’t get to vote for the ECIDA members, and we get to comment only in a limited way.

Occupy is active as the lobbyists for regular people who are undeserved by this rudderless system of myriad IDAs, which seldom develop anything industrial, and who regularly poach WNY businesses from one WNY community to another. If we had one regional IDA, which sought to attract business and people from outside WNY, that would be great. So would an ida scheme that didn’t routinely substitute “residential” or “hospitality” for “industrial.” Occupy took similar action recently at the Clarence IDA, which has come under harsh state criticism for its practices.

It would appear that something is desperately wrong with that sort of system. Thanks to Occupy Buffalo for attending these meetings and questioning the ECIDA’s policy of subsidizing projects that generate few, if any, permanent jobs and likely would be completed anyway.

Paladino Hates Subsidies to _Other_ Developers

22 Sep

Carl's Insult Billboardatorium

Consider the irony – the better word, really is “chutzpah” of poor, downtrodden Carl Paladino complaining mightily about the $5 million the city of Buffalo will be granting its favored developer, Mark Croce, to rehabilitate the Statler.

The irony stems, of course, from the fact that Paladino’s real estate empire would crumble if he suddenly lost all of his government leases, and wouldn’t have grown to where it is today without upwards of $12 million in tax subsidies.  It’s not every company that has the political clout to receive $1.4 million in tax subsidies in order to invest only $1.1 million into a few Buffalo properties and creating exactly one job – $3 million from the Empire Zone program altogether, with a gain of only 25 jobs.  He bought access to those programs with his generousness to politicians and candidates, yet he’s on the outs with the Brown Administration, so now he’s going to disingenuously try and prevent a competing developer from getting public money to rehabilitate an historic downtown building.

Carl was Masiello’s favorite. How many questionable last-minute-on-Friday demos did Carl get under Tony’s watch? Now, others have taken his place and Carl is having none of it. Carl’s access to the Buffalo News used to be as wide as an airport hangar. Now he’s engaged in a blood feud with publisher Stan Lipsey, who permitted his reporters to actually investigate Carl’s business and political dealings.  Had it been up to Paladino, the Webb Building would have been razed instead of rehabilitated by Rocco Termini with historic tax credits.

Paladino’s understanding of “private sector initiative” is which politician is in whose corner.

The irony is delightful.

Paladino threatened to seek an injunction against the city’s Statler subsidy to Croce.

Croce dismissed the threat. “Good luck with that. I’ll see you in court, Carl,” he said during a separate interview. “Anybody can sue in this great country if they want. I’ve seen Carl waste a lot of money on frivolous lawsuits.”

Of course, in Niagara Falls, Paladino’s Giacomo is one of the few downtown “jewels”.  Paladino bought the United Office Building for $1.00 and reportedly rents space in it to Empire State Development for $15/SF. The going rate in downtown Niagara Falls is more like 1/3 of that amount.

Why Buffalo Needs Heavily Subsidized Hotels (and more of ‘em!)

8 Dec

This story in the News is so indicative of just how awesome and competent our elected officials and business leaders are. If a parcel of prime waterfront land with a restaurant on one side and a sprawling business park on the other qualifies as an “Empire Zone”, then so does my house, and I’d like a 80% reduction in my property tax burden, too, KTHX.

Because people are downright CLAMORING to stay in bad 70s era replicas of Warsaw apartment blocks:

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Why, put it on the architectural tours!

Also, can there be any doubt why conventions aren’t just champing at the bit to send their conventioneers to this gorgeous example of inviting architectural brilliance?

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Finally, can someone explain to me why no one has approached a local company like, say, Lamar (the billboard operator) to renovate & run this eyesore?

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The FAILSIGN would like a word with you.

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