Niagara Gazette

Opinion

July 1, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Lower taxes should be focus of casino cash

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Economic development: it’s not city government’s job to build or to invest taxpayer dollars in business ventures. It should be city government’s job to hold down taxes and provide for public safety while maintaining streets, parks and infrastructure.

Lower taxes, safe streets and a well maintained infrastructure create an environment that: 1) Encourages residents to invest in the city through home ownership and 2) Encourages businesses to grow and to locate here.

City government can build the atmosphere to make positive things happen. It can’t and it shouldn’t try to do the job of private development. City government should not engage in costly construction projects that are better left to private investors operating with private money.

Doing flashy projects is exciting and dramatic in the eyes of some elected officials. But the plain truth is that if we’re looking for a single “game changer” for Niagara Falls that change maker comes in two words: lower taxes.

Imagine if we could lower taxes. Imagine if the news story, for a change, wasn’t “Niagara Falls bond rating drops again,” but instead the headline read, “Niagara Falls lowers taxes again.”

That would be great news and that sort of positive news travels fast in the business community. Combine a realistic tax reduction plan with the most famous waterfall in the world and we could have a one-two redevelopment program that would have the state, the nation and the world talking. With a tax cutting initiative we could see a time in our city’s future where people would want to move here and live instead of just driving through for a couple of hours in the summer.

Let’s get our financial house in order, let’s take control of our future and let’s work together to do the things that will make Niagara Falls a competitor again.

What are we waiting for?

Russ Vesci is a candidate for the Niagara Falls City Council.

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