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NOV 11- NOV 19, 2014

Touma Says He Would Cancel the Gov.’s Contest Before he Would Raise Taxes on Working People Here...

November 11, 2014

Council member Andrew Touma gets a copy of Mayor Paul Dyster’s proposed budget.

Councilmember Andrew Touma was asked by the Niagara Falls Reporter about the idea of not approving the city’s contribution of $4 million for the Gov.’s contest and also about rescinding the $1.5 million gift to USA Niagara.

Touma said "I'm going to look into USA Niagara. (Ironically, the $1.5 for USA Niagara is almost exactly the amount Dyster plans to raise taxes.)

"If that's doable. I'd (like to rescind the USA Niagara gift) I don't want to put the burden on the taxpayers.

"We are getting 25 percent (of casino revenue) then we are giving $4 million back to the state to match this particular initiative (the governor's contest). It's about a fifth of what we get a year. Does that make any sense? The state already has 75 percent.

"I think it is important to me and I owe it to the people to look at everything so that taxes aren't raised. Whether it is the contest with the governor or USA Niagara going forward.

“We have not agreed to the $4 million match. I think I can honestly say that I would vote against the $4 million match, if it means raising taxes for the people. I don't think the burden should go on them.

“I'm trying to lower taxes for crying out loud. Never did I think I would be voting on a budget where we are raising the levy by 4.5 percent, but little did I know that we are in the deficit we're in. You can mark my words that I am going to hold the executive branch accountable!

"Taking the $4 million and using it as a tax reduction would put the city further ahead and get businesses to open their eyes, giving people more disposable income and it would be obviously something to talk about to lure people into this city. That would be real economic development."





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Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina