Note: Comments of readers are their own and do not reflect the feelings of Bob Lonsberry or lonsberry.com.
54 Responses to:
NO MORE TAXPAYER MONEY FOR BUSINESSES
# 1. 5/7/12 12:11 AM
Customers in Oregon pay no sales tax. People living close to the border go there to avoid the tax. However in states with no sales tax they have to pay higher taxes other ways. Good for tourism but not for residence.
# 2. 5/7/12 12:59 AM by BSP
I say we kick Scott Conjugal out and make the place a mall again. And to gain admission into ther mall, we'll have to show our cash or credit card and a paycheck stub to the security guards posted at each door.
# 3. 5/7/12 4:13 AM by Brian
Corporate welfare of any sort is wrong. If a business cannot start up and run on its own, it's not a viable business.
But I do find it interesting that governments all across our great nation find that deferred, reduced or eliminated taxes or tax rates are offered to entice businesses to move to a particular locale. If a reduced tax burden is a major driver in where a business moves, maybe that might also be a benefit to all the businesses that are there insofar as they would be able to expand and hire people.
# 4. 5/7/12 4:54 AM by Cal - Rochester, NY
Bob, First, with a name like that, Scott Conjugal; one thinks of conjugal relations.
Second as we try to make our liberal State more business friendly, how do you beat Santa Clause with his "free" giveaways?
Meanwhile the liberal Labor Unions are going for their piece of the pie in NY State vs the rest of us!
I say throw the liberal politicians out and then suppor and trust Consevative politicians to correct the matter! Case in point, support Maggie Brooks vs Louise! This would be a good step in the right direction! Maggie has brought 100,000`s new jobs to the area, much better than Obama has done for the whole Country!
# 5. 5/7/12 5:15 AM by fritz - conesus, ny
One hundred persent, Bob !!!!!!!!!!!!
# 6. 5/7/12 5:29 AM by rochester escapee
I think corporations should get to keep more of the money they earn. Ditto with workers and investors. It's time for the welfare class to realize food doesn't come from Tops or Popeyes.
# 7. 5/7/12 6:35 AM by Rick G. - Spencerport, Ny
Weird. I've been paying taxes and fees for land and property I own for decades, with no offer for taxpayer compensation. I must've gone to the wrong business school, because i wouldn't even know where to start.
Maybe I should call one of those 1-800 numbers I hear advertised on the radio on how to get out of debt free and make money with 0 money down.
Nice piece of reporting, Bob.
# 8. 5/7/12 6:37 AM by Ron - Kenmore, NY
Don't underestimate NY State's ability to pour money down a rat-hole; they're literally dumping $1B into Buffalo's harbor.
Buffalo had been known as the "Queen City". It turns out they're actually the "Welfare-Queen City".
The Brookings Institution is advising the city on how to squander the money in the most spectacular fashion.
1. Solyndra solar panels for every home.
OR better yet, cut State taxes by $1B.
# 9. 5/7/12 6:39 AM by Leigh - Rochester, NY
I'd add saying "No" to non-profits looking for handouts. If you can't stay in business without looking for handouts, close down and move over for someone who can.
I moved to Henrietta specifically for the low tax rate. I want businesses in my town. More to the point, I want businesses that pay their fair share of taxes. The more tax dollars businesses pay, the less the town takes from homeowners. I have a family to support. I don't want my money going to support a business that can't support itself.
Editor's Note: amen
# 10. 5/7/12 6:41 AM by Grandma Taxpayer - Greece, NY
You hit the nail on the head! However, it should be pointed out the elected officials in Irondequoit should be on the hook for this mess too. And in Greece we have our own "welfare" corporation........Wilmorite. They got $90 million in PILOT money to tear down BonTons and build upscale restaurants! And these waiter/waitress jobs will pay less than minimum wage plus tips. Not exactly the type of wages one can support a family and a mortgage on.
Please give us more information on this PILOT program. Who approves this money and what is the criteria (criterion) for approval?
# 11. 5/7/12 6:43 AM by Chelsea Simpson - Fairport
# 12. 5/7/12 6:55 AM by Dan - Greece, NY
Can anyone remember a little project called the fast ferry that was supposed to bring in millions ? Anyone seen that money coming in lately ?
ya, me neither.
Sorry, if you can't do it with your own money, please don't pick my pockets to do it. I don't mind paying taxes for the common good of defense, roads, fire, police ... but for upscale shopping I draw a line.
# 13. 5/7/12 7:00 AM by Poplar Beach
The rich get richer because of crap like this, be it the tax code where those who can afford the staff to look for the loop holes, or perhaps they grease the palms of the politicians to create the loop holes, or this example you have shinned the light on.
The punks in the park, the protestors had the chance to shine the light too, but they focused on the business men, the corporations, not the government and the politicians who make the rules to favor them.
The protestors should have been on the steps of the capitols, as the TEA party protests were.
Skunks like Congel got their stripes from the system, a system rigged to favor them. The more powerful they become, the more strings they have to pull.
To cut the strings we need several things, but I can think of two things that would change things drastically. Term limits, no elected person should be running for office when in office, they would be beholding to no one except the people they represent. And radical tax reform, The Fair Tax, a national sales tax to replace income tax and FICA.
Congel is just playing the game, a game that has been rigged by him and others like him, as long as elected officials can be manipulated by those with the deepest pockets, the little guys will lose and guys like Congel will win!
# 14. 5/7/12 7:06 AM by Woody - N.Y.
It's a Conjugal visit for the tax payer and I think the tax payer is getting a sexually transmitted disease COMIDA bend over here it comes again!
# 15. 5/7/12 7:12 AM by prick - webster
His name is CONGEL, not Conjugal. Hard to believe that anyone who commented already and lives in this area didn't catch that.
Editor's Note: wow. what a goof up. i wonder how that happened?
# 16. 5/7/12 7:22 AM by P. Mulley - Fairport, NY
Not that I disagree, but what do ya figure a gallon of gas would cost without subsidies in that industry's direction?
Editor's Note: less than it does now
# 17. 5/7/12 7:34 AM by J.A. - walworth NY
Morning Bob... isn't the gentleman's last name spelled Congel...not "Conjugal"?
Editor's Note: interesting
# 18. 5/7/12 7:37 AM
I wonder if the late great Peter B. Taub would say this guy has a 'name that works'. Seeing that he's giving the taxpayers a royal screwing -
Probably not, he would never stoop to that level. But for once I have to agree, this smells like a load of b.s.
# 19. 5/7/12 7:41 AM by OldVietVet - Rochester, NY
Your column today is an expression of why many people, despite lack of reform and progress in setting up the requisites for a healthy national economy,will vote the Dem. ticket in November.For those who will vote the Obama/Biden team, the rhetoric is enough.They cannot remember,or even begin to connect the dots, to the many Solyndra like failures and the fat-cat corporate welfare crap that have occurred w/in the past four years, and has afflicted our Nation for much longer; and are routine operating strategys with both political parties. We need real tax reform,which has got to be much more than the usual cry and hand wringing of the Republican Party concerning high corporate tax rates,or the Dem.Partys phony baloney concerning the "rich".If Obama had been the leader,and the capable thinker his supporters believed, his emphasis in 2008 would have been on a complete overhaul of our tax system.Instead, he chose the B.S. of "National Health Care". And that is the main reason why our economy is stuck in neutral,and threatening to go into reverse.
# 20. 5/7/12 7:44 AM by Carl the Capitalist
Not to mention how it is OK for the taxpayers to build a stadium in Buffalo. Every NFL owner get corporate welfare from states, cities and towns to build their stadiums.
None of the NFL millionaire owners or players would have "careers" without the sports venue cathedrals which are paid for and subsidized by TAXPAYERS whether they are sports fans or not.
The model on which the NFL operates is pure SOCIALISM......name any other capitalist business where they "share" revenue.
The NFL should get off the goverment teat and return to capitalism.
# 21. 5/7/12 7:49 AM by Tom - Fairport, NY
Tom Wilmot is the biggest welfare queen in Rochester, enabled by people like Tom Richards - Rochester's $10 million mayor.
Wilmot is one of Richards' top campaign contributors and then Richards turns around and talks about "forgiving" the $20 million that Wilmot's shell company - RochWil - owes the city of Rochester for money it was lent. These limited liability shell companies are a scam, designed to take money in and shield the people behind them from any liability for anything, including spending the money on property maintenance.
This kind of garbage should put people in jail, but then the city of Rochester turns around and enables the same sort of nonsense with "Collegetown" which uses almost the exact same financial maneuver.
This needs to stop, and these industrial development agencies like COMIDA need to be made illegal. The only way to truly level the playing field is to get rid of these governmental units that shovel tax dollars to highly connected individuals.
# 22. 5/7/12 7:54 AM by Matt - Rochester, NY
You rail against this guy, which i agree with you 100%, but then you believe that rubbish about the oil companies you printed a few weeks back. This should go for ALL businesses INCLUDING the oil companies who apparently have you fooled. That mall has been a joke for a long time due to reasons I can't say or else I be tagged a racist. But what this guy is doing is no different than big oil, only the deal looks different on paper. Either way, the taxpayer and public suffer. The end.
# 23. 5/7/12 8:01 AM by Mandy in Manchester
So now you oppose welfare for big business but on Apri 24th you wrote column defending taxpayer subsidies for oil companies. Oh wait....I forgot Obama was against it so you have to be for it.
Flip flop, Flip flop, Flip flop, Flip flop......you can't pick and choose your CORPORATE WELFARE.
# 24. 5/7/12 8:12 AM by John - Penfield, NY
Why do I feel so used after every Conjugal visit?
# 25. 5/7/12 8:27 AM by Clyde
It is a dead mall. Unless you can prevent inner city customers from shopping there it will never be revieved. No more taxpayer dollars to Scott Conjugal.
# 26. 5/7/12 8:28 AM by lucky wife - Mount Morris, N.Y.
Good morning Bob,
Is is true that the developer who came to town was given a break on his taxes for a few years ? I remember hearing something about him not having to pay taxes on all the property he bought in the village. Is this rumor or fact?
# 27. 5/7/12 8:34 AM by Ken - Webster, NY
As the middle class dwindles, where will all this money come from in the future? The mistake that the management of this mall made was not having a satellite office police presence, especially, since it borders the city and it's crime rate.
# 28. 5/7/12 8:35 AM by Christopher - Newport News, VA
As long as there are governments or agencies willing to offer incentives to the "Conjugal types" or to the run of the mill welfare recipients, there will be a steady line of moochers with their hands out. They give the truly needy a bad name.
Take away the incentives, and these moochers will look for a new sucker to mooch off of.
The free market is a wonderful thing. If we'll only let it be free.
# 29. 5/7/12 8:44 AM by Paul - Rhode Island
Turning Irondequoit Mall (oh sorry, "Medley Centre") into a resort and retail destination?
He should propose a fast ferry service to Toronto while he's at it. It's equally sensible.
# 30. 5/7/12 8:45 AM by Dadw5boys
This isn't new Bob. Developer Enos Stanley Kroenke, sports mogul, Walton family son-in-law, and sprawl-developer, was actually paid more than $7 million in public funds to build a bigger Wal-Mart in Bridgeton, MO.
Looks like socialism for the rich and powerful marches on while the long term unemployed are thrown to the wolves of the "free market" economy.
# 31. 5/7/12 8:55 AM by Ultra Bob - salt lake city Utah
GOOD MORNING, BOB.
It’s so good to see that you finally can smell the coffee.
What you are talking about is happening every day, every where across America, in every government from the smallest town to the federal government itself.
Typical would be the small township buried within a group of townships. A business, developer, corporation, whatever promises the local government leaders increased tax money if only they will make certain tax arrangements for the business they represent. Arrangements like freedom from paying some taxes, public obligation for development money and even agreement to pay business costs for the first few years.
At the beginning, the developer comes in and moves some dirt around and then the project dies for lack of funds. Having already made a huge profit before turning the first bit of dirt, the developer cries for more money or just walks away.
The solution is to get business out of government. Stop allowing business to buy elections and favors, Corporations are not people, and neither are any other commercial or even not profit groups.
# 32. 5/7/12 8:56 AM
For those who asked, PILOT stands for "payment in lieu of taxes." While the federal government offers PILOT money to local governments to pay for federally-owned land (which is tax exempt), New York takes the idea and basically uses it as an incentive program for developers. This allows the developer to pay far less than the taxes they would typically be assessed. The only criteria as I understand it is that that development be an "asset" to the community - the hope is that they'll provide enough jobs, sales tax revenue, etc. long-term to make the tax break worth it. In the case of Medley Centre, the PILOT program was approved by COMIDA after obtaining consent from the Town of Irondequoit and East Irondequoit School District (since they're the ones losing out on taxes).
# 33. 5/7/12 9:30 AM by Norman
Why do the rich get so much "welfare" at our expense? There is something very, very wrong with our country when this is the standard operating procedure of business. We need to redirect our armed forces against the corporations that are destroying our country.....we are wasting time and money fighting terrorist overseas when corporations right here in America are doing all they can to completely destroy us.
# 34. 5/7/12 9:32 AM by Tony - Gates
Just par for the course in corporate America.
# 35. 5/7/12 9:34 AM by Jane - Brockport
It not call welfare when it goes to the rich......it is call tax breaks.
# 36. 5/7/12 9:42 AM by Tim
Along with agri-business and oil companies socialism for the rich is where it's at.
# 37. 5/7/12 9:47 AM
Yeah, we got conjugaled right up the asteroid. I wonder if there is any way the property can be foreclosed upon? And I wonder if he treats (or has been to date treated by) Syracuse and Onondaga County in the same manner? Might be a good topic to ask your WSYR listeners. (At least Carousel Mall is still functional.)
I bet he laughs about the Rochester yokels at his dinner soirees. Someone needs to mine the metal in that brass set of his.
# 38. 5/7/12 9:58 AM by BSP
For the record, I didn't know or care if the man's name is Conjugal or Congel, but it really doesn't matter what his name is. Maybe we should, more appropriately, call him "Con."
# 39. 5/7/12 10:20 AM by Cal - Rochester, NY
In years past it was said that as GM goes, so goes the Country...(Charles Wilson, CEO of GM)
So now Obama bails out GM with our money; and now GM China is the world`s largest producer of autos!
Then Obama and his ilk bailed out the bank sub-prime lone losses with our money costing many billions of dollars... And this included bail out of many foreign banks! Now the banks are dictating to us along with our government forcing foreclosures!
And then most of our huge defense budget goes for corporate welfare...as well to comunist China for parts for our weapons! Meanwhile Iran captures one of our super sophisticated drones for China to copy to use vs us!
So bailing out Melody Mall is just a drop in the bucket as compared to the Military Industrial Complex financed with taxpayer money!
# 40. 5/7/12 10:32 AM by John - SLC
Well, if you eve need an example of "hutzpah" this guy certainly is a shining example.
He may be an example for many other words: Greed Scam Scheme Well-connected shameless
This project is clearly an example of governmental entities (who spend money not their own, and hence don't give a conjugal visit about how they spend it)who get suckered in by a seemingly good idea, then it keeps snowballing and demanding more and more money. Of course, they are reluctant to admit they made a mistake, and just keep throwing more money at it.
While Mr. Conjugal's scheme may be within what is allowed by law, it certainly fails the common sense test.
If there is not a whole stinking, steaming pile of criminal and political connivance involved behind the scenes, I would be greatly surprised.
# 41. 5/7/12 11:18 AM by Richard - Penfield
You've formed the right conclusion, but used the wrong path to get there. You suggest early in your column that being a (real) capitalist somehow means not taking the taxpayers' money; but capitalism doesn't distinguish between one source of money and another. Pure capitalism is the dog that will eat until its stomach bursts. And that's OK, as long as we recognize it for what it is, and set up the appropriate checks and balances to keep the stomach from bursting.
Instead, Maggie Brooks, COMIDA and the state of New York are acting like capitalists, just like Congel. Our elected officials are using programs like COMIDA in the same way that salesmen use deep discounts, to cut under-the-table deals for select customers in order to gain their business. As a businessman, Congel would be nuts to reject offers like that. The practice of capitalism doesn't require one to worry about where the money comes from.
Capitalism has helped make our country great, but pure and unfettered capitalism can't sustain itself in a democracy; like the game of Monopoly, sooner or later all the money and property end up in one corner of the board. We should be using government to exercise some level of restraint -- not too much, but not too little either. Instead, our elected officials want their turn with the dice.
Editor's Note: you're an idiot, and you're wrong, dog.
# 42. 5/7/12 11:19 AM by Patrick - Syracuse, NY
Back in the day, when businesses were businesses and not on the public dole, how would their tax rate compare to todays developers? Has the tax rate gotten so bad in our cities, towns and villages that it really may be too prohibitively expensive to build without significant tax breaks?
# 43. 5/7/12 12:01 PM by cami
Nevada has no state income tax either
# 44. 5/7/12 12:49 PM by Wade - Eagle Mountain, UT
I voted to re-elect Peter Corroon as Salt Lake County mayor largely because he opposed public financing for the Real Salt Lake stadium in Sandy. If you want to start a private enterprise, get your own private financing. That's basically 90% of the job of the entrepreneur, finding investors, right? Now, entrepreneurs don't need to find investors, and nobody has to risk their money on some guy's idea. The government (taxpayers) will take all the risk.
But then Corroon ran for governor and campaigned as a typical tax-and-spend Democrat. What a disappointment.
# 45. 5/7/12 1:23 PM
So should i have my kid send back his NY state scholarship money?
Editor's Note: if it was your kid, i'm presuming it was not an academic scholarship.
# 46. 5/7/12 1:35 PM by tom the tax payer
How about that $90 million PILOT gift to Wilmorite for the Greece mall? That is supposed to be a one year deal and is to be revenue neutral. What a laugh that is!
There may be no correlation of any of these tax breaks and job creation however I'll bet big money there is a direct correlation to political contributions!
Editor's Note: do wilmots ever pay taxes?
# 47. 5/7/12 2:14 PM by Wwjd?
What about tithing money used for City Creek Mall?
Before labeling the kitchen unclean in your neighbors house, please check the filthy mess in your own house.
Editor's Note: no tithing money was used in city creek or in any of the business enterprises of the mormon church, bigot.
# 48. 5/7/12 3:14 PM
I'm considering a visit to Austria to buy a kangaroo...
# 49. 5/7/12 4:15 PM by Steve
In my opinion the City is doing the same with the U of R. Why does the tax free U of R need $20million from the city taxpayers to build a street of shops with condos?
Editor's Note: amen. especially when the president bad mouthes the garbage plate.
# 50. 5/7/12 4:38 PM
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