Niagara Gazette

Columns

November 8, 2013

HAMILTON: The 'Calorie Corridor' and county sales tax

Niagara Gazette — In San Diego, there was the famous “Mile of Cars.” In south Philadelphia, there was a mile of automobile junkyards. But in the Niagara Falls area, between Bob Evans restaurant at Niagara Falls Boulevard and Interstate-190, through the hot dog stand and Mom’s at Military and the Boulevard, and on up Military Road to Tim Hortons at Porter and Packard roads, we have the “Calorie Corridor.” And we salivate as we await the arrival of a Popeye’s Fried Chicken franchise to fill in any skinny lot that is left in this plethora of mostly chain dining facilities.

But for now, aside from wings, the Falls is chickenless. Not only has the Main Street KFC long ago shuttered that store, but the Boulevard store is being demolished and rebuilt to better meet the present and forthcoming competition.

Military Road, not downtown, now has the bulk, and I do mean bulk, of the franchise restaurant chains; and a lot of those are in the Town of Niagara. But can you imagine what kind of a “military” that we would have if those restaurants were the chow halls where soldiers took their meals. Our soldiers would be as fat as are those county’s biggest source of sales taxes that Military Road produces for it. Because the factory outlet mall is in the town of Niagara, the townies want a greater share of the sales tax revenues that their real estate generate.

I know this because it came up in the last county legislator electoral debate. For those who don’t understand why, then the way that I understand it is that the county takes their share and distribute the rest equally, based on population, with each defined municipality. That means that Niagara Falls gets more sales tax revenues from all sales in the county than any other municipality; and that the Town of Niagara gets less than any other town, it being, what I have been told, the least populated town.

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