RESTAINO: Setting the Record Straight on Seth’s Tax Scheme & a Reassessment

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By: Robert M. Restaino

Candidate for Mayor of Niagara Falls

As he has done throughout this campaign, our opponent says things regardless of whether they are accurate or not. I have called his proposed land value tax scheme nothing more than a cloaked reassessment. I do not support his tax scheme or a reassessment. At a recent debate a question was asked about reassessment and my response was IF a reassessment were necessary, it should be phased in like it was in Nassau County as opposed to dumping it on city residents all at once. My tax plan is simple, maintain the current system while attracting business and development to increase the tax base and utilize the growth to reduce the two-tier tax disparity. In this way we can further advance business growth.

Our opponent says the words land value tax, but then waffles and flip flops as to how he would implement it. First, a mayor alone cannot implement a tax structure like he is proposing, it would require approval by the NYS Legislature and Governor in Albany. Early on, he started on his website by suggesting the LVT as a pilot for the downtown tourism district. As he has done in the past, he ignores the law. His intent was to target a certain district and landowners . . . which is unconstitutional. The unconstitutionality of his scheme was pointed out to him, then he doubled down and said it would apply to the entire City, commercial and residential. He did some slick math and tried to pass it off as a tax cut. He even cherry-picked certain properties to illustrate his scheme. He claims, “in the vast majority of cases” it will lower your property taxes. He claims this will help small businesses, which is sad and misleading as small businesses would suffer the hardest hit under his scheme. I have used my opponent’s math and if you click the image below you will see a variety of properties negatively impacted by his scheme. You’ll also see that large commercial properties downtown would get an ENORMOUS savings . . . this will have to be made up somewhere. It will be on the backs of homeowners and small businesses.

The City is in financial crisis, and I do not believe that schemes and gimmicks are going to solve our problems. We need to accept that it’s going to take hard work to collaborate with government partners to lower the cost of services. We need a commitment from the City’s CEO to balance a budget properly and exercise some semblance of fiscal responsibility. Our opponent and his department alone are responsible for almost 3.5 million dollars in wasted or questionable spending practices in the last several years. His blatant disregard for laws and regulations has cost the City time and money in and out of the Courtroom. His record is not a path to financial stability . . . it’s a record of gimmicks and schemes that deal in poverty as opposed to ending poverty. The residents of this City deserve better.

 

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