Tag Archives: chutzpah

Collins’ Food Stamp Cuts and Welfare for Billionaires

8 Nov

In September, Representative Chris Collins voted to cut $40 billion from the American food stamp program, which helps to feed underprivileged and poor Americans.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the House legislation would deny benefits to 3.8 million Americans next year and save $39 billion over 10 years, or roughly 5 percent of the SNAP program’s cost in that time. Enrollment doubled to 47 million in the wake of the Great Recession as incomes plummeted and more Americans qualified for benefits, which average $133 per month. Most beneficiaries are children, elderly or disabled.

Buffalo’s Delaware North is estimated to earn about $2.6 billion this year. The Buffalo News writes that Delaware North is looking to move its downtown Buffalo headquarters a few blocks over

Delaware North is asking for an exemption of $807,000 in sales tax for building materials, but it has been questioned by some critics because Delaware North is a global company with $2.6 billion in revenues. However, Richard M. Tobe, deputy county executive and chairman of the ECIDA’s Policy Committee, noted Thursday that the request is consistent with what ECIDA typically approves.

But the larger plan has faced heavy opposition because of the unusual nature of the tax assistance that Uniland, in particular, is seeking. Besides sales and mortgage tax breaks, the developer proposes paying full property taxes but diverting a significant portion of them to finance a five-level parking ramp and then getting reimbursed by the state because Uniland says the property qualifies for special brownfields credits.

Mayor Byron Brown and Representative Chris Collins wrote a letter together, urging the Erie County IDA to hook Delaware North up with some tax breaks: 

Byron Brown’s and Chris Collins’ letter to the Erie County IDA

So, Chris Collins opposes feeding the poor, but supports tax subsidies for billionaires to relocate to a new building a few blocks away, under threat of departure. 

Frankly, I think it would be tragic to lose Delaware North, but the chutzpah here is unbelievable. He’ll shut down the government to make sure you can’t get affordable, quality health insurance and then pretend he didn’t do just that. He’ll take food from the hands of the underprivileged and poor to help subsidize a billionaire. 

$807,000 is 0.031% of what Delaware North pulls in per year. These tea party princesses all think that charity should replace welfare. Maybe Collins can cover this out of his own pocket. 

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.