Note: Comments of readers are their own and do not reflect the feelings of Bob Lonsberry or lonsberry.com.
46 Responses to:
SPECIAL DEALS FOR SPECIAL PEOPLE
# 1. 7/14/12 5:18 PM by Krukitz All Over
Now talk about Romney, Condi, and Bain capital.
Your politicians are SCMUCKS!
What'd da tea Party do, peter out?
I hold LONSBERRY responsible!
From one group of thieves to another.
HANG THEM ALL!!!
# 2. 7/14/12 5:27 PM by tom - penfield, ny
It is interesting that as more women have taken positions of power we are sliding toward worse times. I am not saying that female leadership is the cause, I am just commenting on the irony of the situation. There was suppose to be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Now there is just an empty pot.
Didn't Mayor Stephanie A. Miner go to Syracuse University with hat in hand to beg a loan to pay for local pension shortfalls over the next couple of years? Maybe one hand doesn't know what the other is doing or maybe one hand is washing the other hand with loads of fast cash. It gets interesting when the money runs out. ethics are the first casualty.
# 3. 7/14/12 5:58 PM
Don't you just love those minimum wage jobs these incentives create?
# 4. 7/14/12 7:30 PM by Jodi - Wayne County East
I've often told small business owners when they've asked me why a farmer is exempt to do something they can't that saves the farmer a lot of money but costs the business owner a lot of money.
It's simple. " They are special and your not."
Get a better lobby in Albany, in Washington.
Welfare and special exemptions, both individual and corporate, along with an arrogant attitude of entitlement and immorality, coupled with the vote buying politicians that grant them at everyone else's expense, will be what brings down this great nation.
Possibly much sooner than most want to believe.
# 5. 7/14/12 8:42 PM by SGM - Utah
Is anyone surprised? This seems to be standard procedure for getting business to come to Utah. And as you have written, the common folk and the small business guys keep getting hosed. All of which begs the question.... who really is paying their share of taxes?
# 6. 7/15/12 4:37 AM by Cal - Rochester, NY
To whom it may concern....
This is the writing of Bob Lonsberry, at his best! The corrupt University liberals, who didn`t see Bob coming onto their schemes, will find that Bob is a fighter as well as an exposer of their crimes vs the people of Syracuse. If anyone saves the day or Syracuse,it will be Bob Lonsberry singlehandedly!
# 7. 7/15/12 6:03 AM by Poplar Beach
Bob, I do understand the principal of tax breaks to bribe a company to locate in NY, after all, if they go to the Carolinas, their taxes will be 20% of what they are here, their energy cost will also be much lower there, plus the tax and cost of living situation will also be better for their employees.
BUT, as a SMALL business man who has never been offered a tax break like this one, or for that matter any other break by the state of NY, or my local government, deals like this one and the ones for the Wilmots, and the Congels make me want to join the punks in the park!
All I keep hearing from my government representatives is small business is the engine that drives the economy, but each year this small business man sees my pile of government regulations, fees, permits, restrictions and employee mandates grow like noxious weeds in the garden.
At the same time, I see big business, those big enough to grease the skids (see pay off the politicians) getting tax breaks and sweetheart deals so they can make even more money to grease the skids more lavishly.
Big business has their lawyers, consultants, tax loop hole specialists, and a staff of secretaries to do the piles of unending paperwork. Every time another rule, regulation, or law is passed, the small business man is buried deeper, the big guys, the I have already made it rich guys, just add a secretary and look for more loopholes, if they don't find them, they pay the politicians to create them.
The system is totally f---ed up and this sweetheart deal is just another example. We need total tax reform, (see the Fair Tax) we need less government agencies and more common sense, we need to end non profits and we need to fire people who make deals like this one!
# 8. 7/15/12 6:57 AM by Rick G. - Spencerport, NY
It's all about the spoiled kid who threatens to pick up their toys and leave.
Playground rules still apply, even as we get older.
# 9. 7/15/12 9:12 AM by Mark - Greece
Heyyyyy, Bob! Rochester's already read the book, but apparently didn't take notes either.
# 10. 7/15/12 1:24 PM
From someone who knows
"We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes," ....billionaire hotelier Leona Helmsley
The people better wise up before the wealth is all owned by a few and the masses are left as mere serfs to the thieves that used government to steal. I think they call it fascism
# 11. 7/15/12 5:07 PM by Woody
So what's new? All the politicians love these plans,they dream constantly about how to screw the tax payer .There are too many of these lawyer/politician types that have their little sweetheart deals so that they and their buddies can fill their pockets at the expense of the working folks.
# 12. 7/15/12 11:34 PM
This is why I will not vote for Maggie Brooks, Mitt Romney or any of the other dopes we have running. I am tired of the lesser of two evils garbage. It does not matter if it is the bus garage in Greece, Greece ridge mall stealing from the taxpayers or the white house. The entire system is corrupt or run by idiots and the sooner it all collapses the better. I hope I am alive to see the day when scum on welfare[crack addicts all the way to the scum at Wilmorite] can not cash those checks.
# 13. 7/16/12 2:24 AM
Agree they should pay their taxes, but a billion in endowment is just small change when you compare that to Harvard's endowment of $32 Billion.
Editor's Note: syracuse's endowment is in the top 10 percent of university endowments
# 14. 7/16/12 4:11 AM by Bob H. - Henrietta, NY
You said the city of Syracuse is two and-a-half years from insolvency, which means that Syracuse will be plumb out of money by January 2015. That would be one year after Ms. Miner's current term is up.
It will be interesting to see if Stephanie runs for re-election. If she doesn't, the next mayor of Syracuse will be the one making the walk to bankruptcy court.
# 15. 7/16/12 4:26 AM by Brian
Isn't there a policy written somewhere about equal protection (and application) of the law for everyone? If significant tax waivers are needed to bring in developers, maybe the answer is that taxes should be lowered for EVERYONE and not just the new guy. Just a thought....
# 16. 7/16/12 5:40 AM by Larry - Greece,NY
Gee, sounds just like Rochester. Nothing will ever change. BOHICA!!!
# 17. 7/16/12 6:27 AM by Mark h - Fairport ny
You can't call it 100% when we are looking at a 2% increase every year (now that the state has saved us from out of control local tax increases). Over those same 30 years of breaks; my property tax bill will continue to push retirement, in my home, out of reach.
# 18. 7/16/12 7:01 AM
Corrupt idiots. Oh, wait, at least idiots have innocence. These guysd got blood on their hands.
I don't wish ill will on another city, but it's kind of nice that Rochester and Monroe County aren't alone in the pull-yer-pants-down/bend-over-and-grab-yer-ankles line.
# 19. 7/16/12 7:19 AM by Matt - Rochester, NY
So numbers-wise, what does the 17% come out to in dollars?
# 20. 7/16/12 7:49 AM by Jeff - Syracuse
How much tax would be collected on empty land? How much revenue if the not for profit university built its own? $0.
The higher ed industry is cutthroat competitive, this is a way to support the city's few remaining economic pillars.
But an easy target makes for an easy column!
Editor's Note: bull crap. they have to build the book store, they're landlocked, and they will make millions of dollars on the deal. it's a gold mine for these folks.
# 21. 7/16/12 8:05 AM by S J - Rochester, NY
New bumper sticker idea! PYMFPT. It's easy to say and quite catchy!
# 22. 7/16/12 8:09 AM by A. Perez - Bail Out Kodak!
All the call center incentive did for Xerox was allow them to pay the workers there minimum wage.
Why not send some of them there incentives Kodak's way where they will do some good.
Patents for sale! Patents for sale! Get your red-hot patents right here! We got a real doozey that will pick your boogers for ya' while you play "Words with Friends".
Call our chief technology officer today for a real great deal on someone else's patents!
You will really admire the elegance of design and the sheer obviousness of our whole portfolio!
Did y'all catch the op-ed about "reverse incentives" for the Kodak execs? Yeah, they pay the company and it's shareholders for their screw-ups!
# 23. 7/16/12 8:20 AM - Fairport, NY
Perhaps this is what Obama was referring to when he said "you didn't build your business." ya think?
# 24. 7/16/12 8:21 AM by NascarDad - Richmond, VA
On the plus side , all the other new investment in the city is being taxed at the full rate! But since I doubt anyone else is looking to spend money there, I am guessing that total will be pretty close to zero.
# 25. 7/16/12 8:24 AM
Everybody is suffering, but public employees. Public employees are getting sweetheart deals from the bone-breaking middle class. If we are not entitled to what they get in the private sector, then something is seriously wrong. This and entitlements are the two (2) that have crippled New York State and something needs t be done. The taxpayers are sick and tired of it.
# 26. 7/16/12 8:28 AM by Tom Dey - Springwater, NY
“Payment in lieu of taxes” always gets my attention and dander up. It just reeks of smoke-filled backroom deals, whisky on the table served by slinky flapper broads - culminating in winks, nods and greased palms. I'm sure incensed Syracuse bosses would righteously point out there were no cigars, whisky or broads. The regular folks always get porked. And then politicians wonder why we (the people) rank them with lawyers and criminals. Because they are and they are...
# 27. 7/16/12 8:31 AM
I was just reading the Kodak article this morning and I said to myself, how in the world is Antonio Perez still in charge of this company? The Board of Directors, what a bunch of pansies. I honestly feel that there will be catastrophic consequences to Kodak long-term for the area.
# 28. 7/16/12 8:38 AM by Matt - Rochester, NY
Let's face it---the big money in this country owns everyone! Be it Republican, Democrat, it really doesn't matter. If you have money, then you are one of the owners of this country. If you do not, then you are one of the owned. Pretty much everyone that writes in to post their comments on here are part of the latter. And guess what? There isn't a thing you can do about it!
# 29. 7/16/12 8:39 AM by Christopher - Newport News, VA
And the beat goes on.
When a state has such burdensome taxes, they realize the only way to attract new business and development is to offer tax incentives. Mean while, the poor shlub that has spent the last 20 years trying to build a business is stuck with the added burden. The playing field is tilted against the average tax payer.
Obviously, the best solution for the state would be to lower taxes for everyone. Of course, I don't see that ever happening. So, the best solution for the tax payer is to leave NYS. Is it any surprise that the state continues to have a shrinking population?
I left Rochester, NY several years ago and I don't regret it.
# 30. 7/16/12 8:40 AM by Ben C. - Image City, NY
Bob, we'd try to get you an official honorary Occupier membership card except they're all to busy figuring out where to set up thier next camp-out. That triangle site near 'Cuse would have been perfect.
# 31. 7/16/12 8:54 AM by Chad - Owego, NY
Bob, you've been focusing a lot on tax abatements as of late, and I have one suggestion/request regarding that: PLEASE DO NOT STOP.
Property taxes in NYS are murder. Our property taxes are out of control by almost any measure, and abatements/credits are only serving to exacerbate the problem. In my opinion, if we're going to have this excessive and oppressive property tax burden, then it's time to apply it equally to all. NO MORE EXEMPTIONS. NO MORE ABATEMENTS. If you own property, you need to pay your fair share of taxes on it - I don't care if you're a new business, an old business, a non-profit, a government building, or even a church... you should owe taxes just like everyone else.
We should also push to overhaul the law relating to collecting back taxes. The government should only be entitled to the amount of overdue taxes when selling a property - any excess should go to the former owner from whom the property was seized. Time after time, I've watched properties sell for $25,000+ due to $3000 in back taxes. Our government has gotten out of control with its property tax scheme and it's time we called for reform.
The 2% cap sounded good, but what ended up passing has no teeth and really makes little difference. It's time for real reform. Please keep up the good work, Bob.
# 32. 7/16/12 9:49 AM by little john - Mt.Morris,N.Y.
A good column with food for thought...
# 2. 7/14/12 5:27 PM by tom - penfield, ny It is interesting that as more women have taken positions of power we are sliding toward worse times.
Succinctly put, but a true possibility. The double standard of ethics can be used by either sex who Can't Understand Normal Thinking.
# 33. 7/16/12 9:49 AM by Richard - Penfield
The particulars are different, I'm sure, but in general it sounds just like the sweetheart deal afforded to Wilmorite by Maggie Brooks and Monroe County (via COMIDA) when they offered to build the Park Point complex adjacent to RIT. Tax abatements extended to out-of-town / out-of-state businesses to relocate to a new area can be good business, but offering cut-rate tax deals for local businesses to simply expand is eight kinds of stupid.
I'm not sure why you're bringing in the whole "SU Owns Syracuse" idea into the discussion, however, unless this is something Syracuse officials only do for its University. Here in Rochester, your pal Maggie has been extending the courtesy to businesses of all shapes and sizes for years -- especially those whose executives donate to her campaigns.
# 34. 7/16/12 9:57 AM by kittynana - Lewiston NY
And the middle class picks up the tab. Again.
# 35. 7/16/12 10:01 AM by qaz - %$#@chester
# 36. 7/16/12 12:21 PM by Mike - Rochester
Welcome to the plutocracy Flanders. 'Bout time you got here.
I bet if we elect "good" republicans instead of "evil" dems this will all change. (see your baloney ACA editorial from the other day)
Sorry, couldn't even type that line of poo with a straight face.
# 37. 7/16/12 1:09 PM
Obama's junk is always hanging in the wrong place...
# 38. 7/16/12 1:23 PM by cami
bob, if you honestly think a bookstore is a goldmine you really have your head up your arse or up someone elses. Excuse my French.
Editor's Note: college bookstore?
# 39. 7/16/12 1:24 PM
Bookstores are a ripoff like stoont loans...
# 40. 7/16/12 1:31 PM by Sparky - NC
Our property tax bill arrived in yesterday's mail. It's one-quarter what it was in suburban Rochester, and the house here is worth more. If I pay it early, we get a nice discount.
We're working, paying taxes, and contributing to the local economy. And there are a LOT of New York escapees in North Carolina!
# 41. 7/16/12 3:29 PM by Rizzoli - Boston
Capitalism: all are equal, and some are more equal than others.
# 42. 7/16/12 5:31 PM - New York State
Were there really only 4 comments on Friday's column? If there are more, could you please share them? Thanks!
# 43. 7/16/12 6:51 PM by hc
College Bookstore? Why bother? I thought pretty much everything could be downloaded to a Kindle at this point.
# 44. 7/16/12 11:10 PM by Screwed - Rochester
Hey Bob............. We have that right here in Rochester. The University of Rochester is our master. That brand new project on Mt. Hope Ave where Wegmans once stood is the exact same scenario as Syracuse. The City gives the developer seed money, tax breaks, infrastructure help (call it a 'gob of money') and the U of R sits on their 1 BILLION dollar endowment just like SYU! Then Mayor Richards cries poverty and blames others for the financial woes he creates. When is our bankruptcy hearing? More importantly, when will the so called journalists in this pathetic town stand up to city hall and print a real news story and not the crap that is fed to them by Gary Walker?
# 45. 7/16/12 11:35 PM by kevin - Alpine
Property tax is not equal taxation. It undermines the foundation of freedom. Private property security is always in jeopardy because of tax. All tax should be based on sales only. You really don't own your home. It's owned by the tax man who will come and take it away even if it's been paid for for generations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
# 46. 7/18/12 1:11 AM by Jeff - Avon, NY
The problem is not capitalism as some would want you to believe. The problem is corrupt government that toadies about and does the bidding of immoral individuals.
There's been too many of these abatement cases going on recently, enough so that I wish some enterprising young lawmaker would put something forward to the effect of making them illegal.
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