Seneca Smoke Shop, Gas Station To Open In June – Is Mall Far Behind?

by Mike Hudson

Back at the dawn of the new century, the Niagara Falls Reporter was a lone voice in the wilderness, daring to ask the question others dodged.

Would a gas station and smoke shop operation be part of the Seneca Nation’s master plan for the development of the 50 acre parcel of prime real estate they were gifted in the heart of the city’s tourist district?

The answer, from everyone who pretended to know, was a resounding no. Cyrus Schindler, then Seneca president, acted as though he was insulted by the very thought, given that he was presiding over the opening of a casino that would take in $1 million a day.

A portion of the compact reads that the Seneca can conduct “any form of Class III Gaming on Nation lands pursuant to this Compact; provided, however, that this Compact shall apply to operation of such enterprise, business or activity only to the extent that such operations are directly related to Class III Gaming undertaken by the Nation pursuant to this Compact.”

In the past, many have interpreted this language to disallow a gas station on the Seneca land, and in 2012, the state used the provision to stop a previous smoke shop / gas station initiative.

In all likelihood, the Seneca “energy station” on Niagara Street is not the end of the tribe’s plans for branching out into businesses unrelated to gambling, but only the beginning.

Again, the Reporter has been at the forefront when it comes to predicting the all too predictable expansion.

The Reporter published this in 2007:

“Seneca… has opened a buffet, a pub, a ‘high-end’ steakhouse, an Italian restaurant, an Asian restaurant, a glamour spa, a conference center, a bistro, a coffee shop, a nightclub, electronics, jewelry, clothing, souvenir and multiple gift shops, and a 26-story, 604-room hotel. All tax free. More stores, more hotels are coming. And when the 50 acres are filled, the insane Seneca/Albany compact provides for acquiring additional, adjacent land — to remove from the USA — for more tax-free Seneca businesses. A smoke shop is anticipated, a gas station, a mall and ironically — a convention center. Soon, if we don’t stop them, they will own the whole town.”

When you don’t have to pay property tax, and you don’t have to pay sales tax, and you don’t have to comply with costly building codes there’s plenty of money lying around to finance new construction.

And the Seneca operation will be competing against local businesses, which labor under the heaviest tax burden anywhere in the state, and perhaps the country.

“This won’t benefit an already impoverished city,” Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce spokesman Kevin Schuler told the Reporter in an exclusive interview. “I know they want to do some development, back in 2002 they had all sorts of plans, but is a gas station and smoke shop the best thing? I don’t think so.”

Schuler said the taxes and regulations non-Indian businesses must work with creates a colossally uneven playing field here.

“While the merits of New York’s tax policy can be debated, local retailers are caught in the middle,” he added. “While they must comply with New York State regulations, their neighbor can conduct business virtually unimpeded by such burdensome regulations and taxes. This is simply unfair.”

The city, already teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, would lose vital sales tax revenue on gasoline and retail purchases at the Seneca tax-free location. As local businesses lose customers to a tax-free gas station, the amount of sales tax revenue paid to the city and county will drop in proportion.

“Unless the state were to compensate the city for this lost revenue the economic hit will be another roadblock to the city’s recovery,” Schuler said.

Land ceded to a foreign nation is property tax-free forever. Items that used to generate sales tax are now purchased sales tax-free in a neat 50-acre zone. Yet locals still pay for roads, sewers and water lines that lead to the Seneca land, and pay for increased criminal justice and social welfare costs associated with casino-fueled gambling addiction.

Tags:

9 Comments

  1. Now the crying starts. Where were these “Reports” when the “The Friend” of this paper,george maziarz got his hand in along with pataki in giving the land away. This was frank parlato’s excuse to beat the city and state out of paying taxes.And now that parlato’s been indicted,Now,According to hudson it will be a deal they called bad all along.

  2. Good site! I truly love how it is nice on my eyes it is. I am wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed which may do the trick? Have a nice day!

  3. I have to consider prospect of by way of thanking you actually for that quality recommendations May mostly demonstrated going over yuor web blog. We’re hopeful for your graduation about the actual or even look for in addition to the whole processing would not have already been finished whilst not coming over to your blog. Fundamentally may perhaps be in any assistance to the rest, Appraisal enjoy it in helping with what There are uncovered from this level.

  4. This is actually a good impacting view on this specific idea. And I’d like you to know that I’m really pleased you shared your feelings and information and I discovered that i believe I agree. I genuinely admire your very clear writing additionally , the work may possibly have invested writing this article. A great many thanks yous for this sound work additionally very good luck with the website, I will be looking forward to new subjects within the future.

  5. Viagra 35 Anos Buy Prednisone For Dogs No Prescription Kamagra Usa cheap cialis Amoxicillin Causes Leukopenia Purchase Nexium

  6. Levitra Maker Cialis Shop Bewertung Priligy Experience cheap cialis Cialis Casero Finasteride Costi Propecia

  7. Hydrochlorothiazide On Line No Prior Script viagra Propecia Mens Health

  8. Propecia Dieta Priligy New Zealand Tretinoin Cream 0.1 At Wholesale buy viagra online Cephalexin For Dog No Prescriptions Foro Compra Viagra Uk Online Pharmacy Airmidex

  9. Levitra Farmacia Online Giorni Alterni Finasteride Propecia Kamagra Oral Jelly Richtig Einnehmen viagra prescription Levaquin Medicine Express Delivery For sale isotretinoin Alli Diet Pills Sale Canada

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK

https://www.facebook.com/NiagaraReporter/
 
Scroll Up.wpzoom (color:black;}