Niagara Gazette — We’ve been hearing it for years from industrial development agency officials and the like and yet every year it seems as though the tax base continues to shrink, the tax rates continue to grow and the sensible folks who can do better vote with their feet and move on.
Indeed, I’ve come to believe Western New York’s one true cottage industry is patronage. Look in just about any office, from Lockport to Albany and you’ll find guys and gals earning princely sums of money, with generous benefits, doing jobs that service their bosses far more than their boss’s long-suffering constituents.
According to the excellent work of the Albany-based think tank, the Empire Center for Public Policy, Inc., we know state lawmakers accounted for more than $102 million of spending during the six-month period ending last March.
While many of them talk a good game about holding the line on taxes and reducing spending, Albany insiders are blowing copious amounts of cash on staff and postage and rent and travel.
Add to that the political freight so many energetic people with big ideas or investors with big dollars have to carry in order to do business around here and you begin to truly understand why it is things are the way they are.
The sage old advice offered in Western New York has always been: Stick around, get involved, vote the bums out.
After years of trying, sadly, the best and brightest from Niagara County, surrounding communities and, based on the latest reports, most of the state outside New York City, have adopted a new philosophy: Pack up, move on and leave the bums behind.
Contact City Editor Mark Scheer at 282-2311, ext. 2250.Contact City Editor Mark Scheer at 282-2311, ext. 2250.