Tag: Taxes

Sep 18

2014

SolarCity shakedown?

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo last fall pledged $225 million to build and equip a clean energy hub along Buffalo’s waterfront. It was good enough for Silevo, a solar panel manufacturer, and Soraa, the makers of high-efficiency light bulbs. It apparently isn’t good enough for SolarCity, however, which bought Silevo in June. Cuomo has subsequently suggested it’s going to take a richer incentive package to bring SolarCity into the fold and press reports indicate at least two other states are in the hunt for the solar panel plant that is penciled in for Buffalo. Given the track record of SolarCity Chairman Elon[...]

Posted 8 years ago

Jul 11

2013

Critical look at Cuomo’s Start-Up NY

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David Cay Johnston, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of best selling books on tax and economic policy, is no fan of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Start-Up NY program. Or the governor, for that matter. “His new law undermines market economics and promotes corporate socialism, in which profits are privatized and costs are socialized,” Johnston writes in a piece for City Newspaper in Rochester. “Cuomo’s plan redistributes wealth upwards, showing that he is no Democrat in the traditional sense that Democrats care about working people,” Johnston wrote. “Rather, Cuomo is part of the growing cadre of politicians whose success depends on[...]

Posted 9 years ago

Feb 10

2013

Q&A: Buffalo Comptroller Mark Schroeder

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Mark Schroeder serves as Buffalo’s fiscal watchdog in his job as city comptroller. He made news recently by raising concerns about City Hall’s budgeting practices, which have involved the use of reserve funds the past three years to balance the books. Schroeder, 57, spent 25 years in the private sector, working for two food companies before moving into electoral politics in 2001 as part of a political organization lead by Brian Higgins. Schroeder served three years in the Erie County Legislature before winning election in November 2003 to the New York Assembly. He represented Orchard Park, West Seneca and portions of[...]

Posted 10 years ago

Feb 4

2013

High taxes land one-third of local governments on fiscally distressed list

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to cap binding arbitration rulings involving public employee union contracts working for local governments deemed in “fiscal distress”. Localities would earn this dubious distinction if their reserves represent less than 5 percent of their operating budgets if their tax rates rank among the state’s top quartile. The Albany Times Union has a good primer, including a table listing the status of each county, city, town and village in the state. Investigative Post has broken out the list for Erie and Niagara counties. The bottom line for the locals: 23 of 75 units of government are defined as in[...]

Posted 10 years ago

Oct 17

2012

Another politician who isn’t paying his taxes

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An elected official in the Town of Alden hasn’t paid his property taxes in more than five years and is in peril of losing his home to foreclosure. Carl E. Fix, highway superintendent for the town, and his wife, Ann, own a home and adjoining vacant lot on Broadway with an assessed value of $72,100. But the county, the town and the Alden Central School District haven’t received a dime in property taxes for either property since 2007. The couple now owes more than $33,000, according to county records. (Here is the payment history for the house and the vacant[...]

Posted 10 years ago

Apr 15

2012

Taxing questions regarding the Bills

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The key study isn’t done, and negotiations have yet to start in earnest, but it’s not too early to start posing questions about who should pay for what to keep the Bills in Buffalo. The teams’ lease on Ralph Wilson Stadium expires in July 2013 season and a story in The Buffalo News on Sunday reports that sources are saying the cost of renovating the facility will run north of $200 million. Given the cost of upgrading the home of the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs ran $295 million and $400 million respectively, that seems like a safe,[...]

Posted 11 years ago