Niagara Gazette

Opinion

August 2, 2013

GUEST VIEW: The Hamister hotel project - by the numbers

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — • $3.1 million: Estimated city tax revenue over the next 10 years, assuming the developer receives a Niagara County IDA Pilot. Right now, the city only receives $27,000 per year for a lease agreement on the property. If we ruin this project, we are leaving serious money on the table. Don’t we have enough vacant land with for sale signs in Niagara Falls?

• $35,000: Annual amount that the Hamister Group will pay the city to lease parking ramp spaces. The parking agreement would bring in more than the entire current land lease! More revenue and use of our parking ramp. It’s just common sense.

• 3,000 vs. 13,000 hotel rooms: Niagara Falls Canada has 11,000 more hotel rooms than we do. If we want to compete for tourism dollars and new attractions, more high-quality hotels rooms are needed.

• $2.1 million: Estimated bed tax over a 10-year period, created by the project. Right now, the property creates zero bed tax. (it could even be more with the occupancy trends rising the way they have been.)

First it wasn’t transparent … now it has special language in the agreement to give the mayor special power.

This is a standard agreement that the city council did not object to at the start. There is no language in the agreement that gives anyone an inordinate amount of power. This is a stand up deal ... from a stand up developer. Sometimes I worry that folks around here don’t want outside developers with their own cash to invest here. But that can’t be true ... can it? We don’t want old school business as usual going on here? We are really thrilled that developers of this caliber are giving us a second look ... aren’t we?

This project is about creating jobs and tax revenue, adding storefronts, developing vacant land, and people spending time and money in Niagara Falls. All of this directly benefits the taxpayers of Niagara Falls.

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