Mayor Paul A. Dyster is yet again proposing a huge tax increase in his 2015 proposed budget along with a dire warning for the 2016 budget. The taxpayers cannot afford this increase and the mayor should have avoided it by putting an end to the unnecessary spending of our tax dollars and our casino dollars year after year after year.
City Council members must stop this increase by eliminating all unnecessary spending in the proposed budget, and yes, start using our casino dollars to lower taxes as the casino dollars belong to the taxpayers of Niagara Falls and should benefit the taxpayers of Niagara Falls.
Our elected officials must stop all unnecessary spending such as subsidizing outside agencies that the taxpayers cannot afford to subsidize including restarting payments to USA Niagara Development in the amount of $1.5 million despite the fact that the taxpayers demanded that the mayor stop doing that in 2012; spending $4 million for the annual governor’s economic development contest; $2.1 million on garbage and recycling totes plus the unknown cost of hiring three employees to manage these new totes at a time when we obviously could not afford it; $40,000 for the Blues Festival which the taxpayers also demanded that the mayor stop doing in 2012 which thankfully some City Council members had enough common sense to turn down; $45 million on a train station that we didn’t need, could not afford to build and can’t afford to maintain; millions of dollars in consultant fees, hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary increases for appointed positions; raises for exempt employees; $700,000 on concerts for Hard Rock Café, etc., etc., etc. The first three items alone total $7.6 million!
The taxpayers cannot afford the outrageous taxes that we have to pay now, let alone be forced to pay even more. These continuous tax increases combined with the ever-increasing water rates imposed on us by the Niagara Falls Water Board are detrimental to the residents and business owners of this city. They are forcing residents out of their homes and business owners out of business as well as discouraging future residents and businesses from locating here.
This is an economically depressed area where the majority of people are retired and living on a fixed income or receiving some kind of assistance. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. The median household income in Niagara Falls is one of the lowest in the state yet we are one of the highest taxed cities, in one of the highest taxed counties, in the highest taxed state in the nation.
Too many of our elected officials appear to have total disregard for the very people they are supposed to represent as they continue to ignore our pleas to stop spending our hard-earned money on unnecessary items while increasing our taxes year after year to pay for their irresponsible and out of control spending. We, the taxpayers, cannot afford to have our money mismanaged by our elected officials anymore!
We call on City Council members Robert Anderson, Glenn Choolokian, Kristen Grandinetti, Andrew Touma and Charles Walker to do the right thing and VOTE NO on this proposed tax increase on the already over taxed residents and business owners of Niagara Falls.