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Dobbs Proud of School Board Tenure

By Mike Hudson

Kevin Dobbs says tax problem not an issue

If you ask him, the Rev. Kevin Dobbs - a 16-year veteran of the Niagara Falls Board of Education - would tell you that the proudest moments of his tenure on the board have been the building of three new schools, Niagara Falls High School, Cataract Elementary School and Niagara Street School.

“My involvement in the building of those schools makes me feel good, knowing that the best we as a board of education can deliver to the students and community has been provided,” he said.

Dobbs said he’s also proud of the fact that the board hasn’t had to increase taxes since he was first elected, despite the fact that much of the city lives in abject poverty and the tax base shrinks more and more with each passing year.

“My desire is to see a greater number of students graduate, serving all students regardless of their challenges,” he said. “We have good schools in Niagara Falls, safe schools in Niagara Falls and good staff who are concerned for the

well-being of our students.”

He’d be a bit more reluctant to discuss the fact that federal and state authorities are hounding him for more than $45,000 in unpaid taxes, according to public documents on file in the Niagara County Clerk’s Office.

The IRS placed a tax lien in the amount of $35,257.54 on property owned by Dobbs and his wife, Norschenia Payne-Dobbs, in September of last year.

A tax warrant for $10,586.54 was filed by the state Department of Taxation and Finance in November 2011. Dobbs said the situation arose after he dipped into his retirement account.

“I paid so many taxes on it, and I thought I had paid enough taxes,” Dobbs said. “It wound up that I didn’t pay enough taxes.”

Dobbs is pastor of Christ Redemption Tabernacle at 22nd and Niagara streets, which he said he purchased in 2010.

Dobbs said he has set up a payment plan with the state and has been making payments on his debts. The money he was owed from his most recent state tax return was applied to what he owes, he said.

“I’ve been doing everything I can,” Dobbs said.

Water bills at Dobbs’ Seymour Avenue home haven’t been paid in more than a year, according to the Niagara Falls Water Board. The property is on the board’s shutoff list.

Dobbs downplayed what he believes his tax situation should mean to voters.

“I don’t think it would affect my ability to sit on the School Board,” he said.

Dobbs’ nearly two decades of service on the school board speaks for itself. He has also served on the Niagara Falls Housing Authority and the county Industrial Development Agency, and believes¬† public service to be essential, both as a man and a Christian.

Dobbs answered the call of God to serve as the founder and pastor of the Christ Redemption Tabernacle Church in Niagara Falls, New York in September of 1999 after serving in various capacities at Emmanuel Temple Apostolic Church for 23 years.

“I believe I must deposit hope into the community wherever I go, locally, state or nationwide,” Dobbs told the Reporter. “It’s important for me to serve as a positive role model.”



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

May 21, 2013