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Small Businesses Face Tough Yule Sledding Given Tax Free Competition From Senecas

A recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express showed that small business owners planned to start their holiday promotions earlier this year. Small businesses in New York are especially hard hit since New York has the highest taxes in the USA, and a study of more than 118 different measures, by the Tax Foundation of Washington, D. C., shows New York State to be the most hostile to business of all 50 states.

In Niagara Falls, small business, especially restaurants, taverns and gift shops, have more to face than just high taxes and an anti-business state government. They also have to compete against the tax free Seneca Nation's spate of restaurants, gift shops and nightclubs that-- besides not paying any state or local taxes-- also do not have smoking bans or health inspections or needless regulations to worry about.

Seneca stores and retail operations do not have to pay sales tax, real estate tax, state income tax, or have to comply with zoning ordinances, building or safety codes or health regulations that all other New York stores have to comply with.

The fact that the Seneca Nation pays no property taxes is especially hurtful to local businesses since Niagara Falls boasts among the highest property tax in the USA.

It is an extremely unlevel playing field.

While small businesses are a critical part of the state and national economy, Albany has limited their chances of success in Niagara Falls, thanks to the Seneca casino compact. Earlier this year, Gov Andrew Cuomo renewed the Seneca gaming compact without any input from local stakeholders. Cuomo did not talk to one local small business owner before renewing the Seneca compact.

So as the survey shows, small businesses owners are starting their Christmas season promotions earlier and earlier.

For Seneca businesses, it's Christmas every day.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Nov 12, 2013