Ceretto believes Seneca’s Verbal Promise of Market Rate Gas Prices


Assemblyman John Ceretto has faith that the Senecas will be good neighbors.

There is so much wrong with the Seneca proposal to open up tax free gas station [s] in Niagara Falls, it is hard to know where to start.

The Seneca Gaming Corporation, confronted with declining casino revenue, plan to expand their tax free operations exactly as this publication predicted for years by opening up other tax free retail operations.

The Seneca Nation has plans for a gas station/convenience store with 20 to 24 pumps at 621 Niagara St.

Sean Caffery, chief executive officer of the development agency for the Seneca Nation said gas would be tax-free, but they would offer gas at ‘market rate’ to keep the price fair with existing gas stations.

Boy, Assemblyman John Ceretto is a trusting soul.  He told the Buffalo, “The Senecas have been good neighbors and want to be a stronger part of the community,” Ceretto said.  “If there are negatives [with the gas station] and it is found to be a detriment to the community, I’m sure the Senecas would work with us.”

In other words Ceretto says we need no contract to ensure the Seneca’s keep gas prices competitive because he is sure  of the Senecas’ good intentions. If there are problems we need merely tell the Senecas and they will change and work it out with us. They will look out for our best interests in the spirit of neighborliness.

Who does business that way?

As one recent post said of Ceretto, “What has this fool been smokin?’

Another said,  “Senecas speak with forked tongue. When station open gas prices drop faster than canoe over falls.”

So Caffery said gas would be tax-free, … but Senecas would offer gas at “market rate” to keep the price fair with existing gas stations.

Even if they keep their word and charge as much as the other gas stations in the area, it is grossly unfair to the other businesses. Why?

Because they will be making so much more money because they won’t be paying taxes.

There will be no monitoring authority in place, however, to prevent gas prices to slide in the competition for business. And they can afford to drop prices since they pay no sales, or excise tax, and no property tax, something that every other gas station in the area pays.

Besides it will not be competitive – even if the prices were the same for gasoline sold at the pumps –  since the Senecas, by not paying taxes on gasoline, will make far more profit which will allow them to improve their businesses and offer more options than struggling taxpaying American gas station owners.

New York State charges 42.64 cents per gallon in taxes.  That means for every gallon of tax free gas the Senecas sell at the same price as an American owned gas station the Senecas make 42 cents more profit.

According to industry reports the average annual sales for an average gas station is 1.58 million gallons, or 132,000 gallons per month.

At 42 cents per gallon savings, 1.58 million gallons will be $633,600 in additional profit for the Seneca.  That’s a lot of money to use to reinvest and beat  out the competition.

Only in Niagara Falls could such inequities pass for good business.

By the way, people who today are getting their gas at Niagara Falls’ gas stations and paying market prices are patronizing stations whose owners are remitting 42 cents for every gallon sold. Every customer the Senecas get with their glitzy new pumps means a loss of money to the state.

Ceretto, while discussing the convention center, entertainment venue and Seneca-owned service stations, said, “I hear partnerships. I hear economic development. I hear things like that. It’s all positive stuff. We’re discussing the future of Niagara Falls.”

Yes indeed we are.

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