KLINE: As Dyster Plans to Raise Taxes, We Plan to Protest Again & Again

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By: Terri Kline

Niagara Falls Community Activist

I am a proud resident of the City of Niagara Falls. I have lived here since 1989, when my father decided to retire from the Armed Forces, here. A year ago I had relocated to NC, due to my husband being in the Armed Forces. We originally were planning to stay in NC, but ended up making the decision to come back to the City of Niagara Falls. Some of you may actually ask why……..because this is my home! The City of Niagara Falls has some great people including our close family and friends, amazing food, and of course one of the wonders of the world.
The reason why I began this “adventure” of protesting against the tax, after tax, after tax being proposed, is because the City of Niagara Falls deserves better! The citizens of Niagara Falls are barely making ends meet now, the last thing we need is another tax! The citizens didn’t carelessly spend large quantities of money, with pretty much nothing to show for it. The citizens of Niagara Falls didn’t create multitude of jobs that were unnecessary, or provide unrealistic pay raises to existing/new city employees. The citizens of Niagara Falls didn’t assist with the poor contract that was negotiated with the Seneca Casino; which news flash, they don’t OWE us anything, they have met all of their obligations. The citizens of Niagara Falls didn’t advise city officials to budget casino revenue, knowing it was going to end. The citizens didn’t ask for a new train station that isn’t even being used. I could go on and on.

The citizens of Niagara Falls just want to live in a city, where you can drive down the road without popping a tire or busting a rim, walk down the sidewalk without falling on up lifted pavement, not have to worry about trees and tree limbs falling on themselves, loved ones or their property. Not have to be scared to walk around their neighborhood, fearing to be robbed or shot. There are many more, but they are not unrealistic requests.



The citizens are done paying for the poor spending and poor decisions of our City Officials. This is a recurring problem; and it finally needs to come to an end. I know that this “user fee” has nothing to do with actual garbage. It was thought up just to create revenue towards the insane deficit. We the citizens already pay for our garbage in our property taxes. City Officials are proposing increase in property taxes as well as reassessments of properties. These are all to resolve a deficit that was not caused by the citizens. So the citizens should not be the ones footing the bill.

When the City Officials came up with these tax hikes, do they have a Plan B, when the population in this city plummets? Are they going to turn around and hike the taxes even higher to completely debilitate the remaining citizens? This deficit is not the citizens responsibility to rectify!

Before increasing any property taxes, reassessing any properties or implementing any fees; such as the “User Fee”, to cover this deficit, City Officials need to reevaluate existing city employees; by eliminate all unnecessary positions, review all existing salaries for necessary pay cuts and cut out all unnecessary spending in general. At that time, a discussion can be presented to the citizens regarding tax increases.

I attended the council meeting after the protest. Mayor Paul Dyster; the fact that you felt it was appropriate to laugh while listening to your citizens express their frustrations and concerns, really confirms that you are not qualified to hold the position you are in. But you also felt it was appropriate to attack the Seneca Casino during a 9/11 memorial, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.



Councilman Touma; this is not YOUR city! This is OUR city! Your position is to represent the citizens of Niagara Falls. Without the citizens, there is no city. That’s great that you want to do “what’s best for YOUR city” but that also includes the residents as well. So uphold to what you said in your statement to the media. And, by the way; we, the residents of this city, are not uneducated, for if we were, we would not be fighting this!

I have no intentions to stop protesting, obtaining signatures, or going to the media until this tax increase situation is resolved. I hope that all my fellow citizens are going to be heard and support me in this endeavor. Enough is enough! People should not have to sell their homes and leave the city they love, due to inept City Officials. CITIZENS SHOULDN’T PAY FOR POOR DECISIONS MADE!!

My next protest is going to be prior to the “Talk about the Budget” meeting scheduled by the Councilman Wednesday, September 26th, at 6:30 pm at the John Duke Center on Hyde Park Blvd. I ask that all citizens that are against tax increases, join me at 6pm in front of the John Duke Center.

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