Reporter Called It Back in 2013: ‘No Money’ for Lockport Charities from Yahoo!

by Frank Parlato

Only the Niagara Falls Reporter called it right, back in April 2013, when we reported on the $30 million Yahoo! taxpayer subsidized deal and called people “naive” who thought that Niagara County non profits would get any money in return for local taxpayers giving the giant Internet corporation 10 years of tax free status.

On April 30, 2013 The Niagara Falls Reporter wrote:

The Town of Lockport IDA gave Yahoo! a deal that includes zero property taxes for 10 years….

All told, Yahoo! will get $30 million in county and state sales and property tax breaks, credits against state income taxes and 7,200 kilowatts of half-priced electricity from the New York Power Authority (NYPA)….

Gov. Cuomo required Yahoo to ‘tithe’ back $3.5 million, to be paid at half-a-million a year over seven years, the spending of which will be overseen by Cuomo appointee Sam Hoyt, regional president of the governor’s Empire State Development authority.

The money will be funneled through the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo. It struck some naïve people as being peculiar that, while Niagara County is making the tax gift, a Buffalo organization is getting the kickback from Yahoo! Inc.

In this case, it is not Buffalo, but Albany. The governor will control which “charities” get the money.

Well we wrote that back in 2013, but no one was listening then. There was too much cheerleading and self congratulations among Niagara officials to read the fine print or listen to our warnings.

Perhaps if more people paid attention to the numerous predictions in the Niagara Falls Reporter –  which invariably come true (i.e. that the Hamister Hotel was a largely bogus deal; that the Seneca’s would sooner or later build a tax free gas station; that the Live Niagara plan to pay students to live in Niagara Falls would not attract any students despite the hoopla; that Mayor Dyster was fooling the public about his actual interest in removing the South Robert Moses Parkway; and literally dozens of other accurate predictions) we would be writing a lot less “I told you so’s.”

But we keep on warning the people – particularly the elected officials – and they keep ignoring us.

“Ignorance is bliss”, they say. 

But not really.

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