Note: Comments of readers are their own and do not reflect the feelings of Bob Lonsberry or lonsberry.com.
64 Responses to:
SCHOOL BOARD STANDS UP TO BAD DEAL
# 1. 6/14/12 4:17 AM by little john - Mt.Morris,N.Y.
I enjoyed reading your column.
Preferential treatment to "anyone";
in lieu of fair and equitable taxation
is not only un-American,
it is morally wrong.
# 2. 6/14/12 5:16 AM
Some good news for a change. Thanks to Greece for giving hope.
# 3. 6/14/12 6:07 AM
Finally, after all these years someone has the balls to tell it like it is regarding the City School graduation rates. Who is it? Bob Matthews, a sports writer of all people. He says, its not fixable. Good for you Bob, tell them exactly what they don't want to hear, fact, reality, and real day life. Some real soul searching really must take place by the parent, and then some.
# 4. 6/14/12 6:23 AM by Mark h - Fairport,NY
If the government can afford to give huge tax breaks to a few, then they can afford to give a little tax break to all. The outcome should be about the same and is ethical.
When the government picks the winners they enslave the rest of us. Taxes must be fair to be American.
Editor's Note: amen
# 5. 6/14/12 6:29 AM by Jodi - Wayne County East
COMIDA? It sounds like an STD.
Editor's Note: exactly
# 6. 6/14/12 6:37 AM by Grandma Taxpayer - Greece, NY
You are so right on with this column!
The only other thing I would add besides Wilmorite asking for for 25 years of welfare payments from the taxpayer is to look at the type of jobs this company will be creating with our millions and millions and millions of dollars in taxpayer money. Service industry, minumum wage, $7.50 an hour going no where jobs!
# 7. 6/14/12 6:46 AM by hc
Someone needs to tell the "COMIDA" folks that there really is no such thing as a free lunch.
# 8. 6/14/12 7:08 AM
Isn't this the same company that owes rochester a whole lot of money in taxes. I have to give em credit they have really figured out how to screw the taxpayer
# 9. 6/14/12 7:09 AM by Poplar Beach
These tax break policies insure that the big get bigger, the rich get richer, while new small business struggle, or go to some other state.
The contractor with 10 employees, the store with 15 employees, the restaurant, the mom and pop trucking company, none of these business can even dream of a sweat deal like that proposed for the Wilmonts, and the Congels. If you can't pay the piper (the politicians) you don't get the deal!
That is why this is SO wrong.
Here in NY and in many other states, there are fees, permits, legal regulations, stacked atop more fees and regulations. The small business can not afford a secretary, a legal advisor, or an accountant, so the small business owner often spends nights doing the paperwork after days running the business.
Where the h-ll are the breaks for these businesses?
# 10. 6/14/12 7:27 AM by Rick G. - Spencerport, NY
Greece charges almost 4 times the amount of money for a building permit than Parma, which is only 3 miles away. They do this because they can.
Drive by the highway department and you'll see rows and rows of waxed and polished and shiny equipment. Nothing but the best.
All of their services cost more and it's paid for on the backs of the people who live and work in Greece.
For the first time in decades, i can say thank you, Greece. Your greed has, for once, made sense.
# 11. 6/14/12 7:33 AM by Dave
But we hear daily tax breaks for the rich is good and gives us millions of jobs.
We hear if with out those tax breaks to the rich, the world would end and dinosaurs would then road the lands of America.
We hear that if corporations don't get huge tax breaks they will take there jobs and move overseas.
Maybe its time for Wilmorite, its malls and the Sibley Tower to move to someplace like Iraq to get the handouts!!
# 12. 6/14/12 8:00 AM by Batman
If everyone paid their fair share our taxes would be lower overall. By quite a bit. Wilmorite skirts a lot of building codes too. Wilmorite got into malls and commercial construction because NY State forced them out of residential home and apartment construction due to shoddy construction practices. They entered into a consent agreement with the NYS Attorney General's Office agreeing not to build any more subdivisions in NY State. So now they build crappy malls and do not pay their fair share of taxes on them. Money talks.
# 13. 6/14/12 8:00 AM by Tom - Fairport, NY
All county IDA's need to be disbanded. They do nothing more than funnel money to their favorite political donors.
I'd love to know what the tally is for political contributions made by Wilmorite and Tom Wilmot.
Tom was one of Tom Richards' top donors, and the decision to let Wilmot's RochWil LLC skate on loan and tax payments looks like it is related to Wilmot's political contributions. But Wilmorite is savvy, and I am sure the slush fund works for both political parties. It's only the taxpayer that is getting screwed.
# 14. 6/14/12 8:03 AM by Earl
Hold on a second, Bob - you're not toein' the conservative line here.
Tax breaks for the wealthy are good. Rush Limbaugh told me so.
It's opinions like this that are keeping you from making Glenn Beck money. Am I right?
Editor's Note: i wish i could fill in for one day on the glenn beck show and get paid what he is paid. i could pay off all my debts in one day. i guess that's the difference between his abilities and mine.
# 15. 6/14/12 8:09 AM by Matt - Rochester, NY
My Democrat leaning ass agrees with you!
# 16. 6/14/12 8:27 AM by tom - Penfield, NY
Gee, this sounds like the bowing and scraping Louise Slaughter and the rest of our wonderful politicians did to help Xerox put in a call center that pays people a little above poverty level wages. Why do we elect people to office that can't do simple math that values the investments made in businesses? Maybe it is because they are all lawyers and never passed a math course in their lives.
# 17. 6/14/12 8:36 AM by Need to be anonymous today
Many moons ago, I was "low man" on the totem pole at a law firm that represented a major lender for these COMIDA deals. I moved on, and haven't had to dirty my hands with that sort of work since.
So many people who don't know the "inside" story seem to think the COMIDA deals are all dirty. And they are.
# 18. 6/14/12 9:01 AM
Everytime you write on this sobject it is always government that gets the worst of your wrath.
Why is it never focused heavier on business and their constant habit of blackmailing small, local governments with the "do it or we'll leave" threat.
Businesses like Wilmorite expect to get their way in these deals and usually do. Greece has said no deal. Wilmorite will yawn and smile and feign leaving and will get their way sooner or laer.
Editor's Note: how does a mall leave?
# 19. 6/14/12 9:07 AM by jaymor
The free market is imperfect its allocaion of resources. But,in the long-run, reliance on supply and demand is far more efficient and equitable than the politicized whims of government intervention.
# 20. 6/14/12 9:15 AM
As a Delphi Salaried person, I am quite familiar with how the Government picks winner and losers. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!
# 21. 6/14/12 9:16 AM by Frank - Gates
"If you took all the tax breaks on the books for the oil industry, and you added up all the deductions that would allow all the oil companies in America – not just the top three – and then multiplied that by 10, to see what the entire industry takes in deductions over a decade, you end up with about $25 billion.
A decade’s worth of deductions for the entire industry is less than a single year’s tax for a single oil company – Exxon Mobil.
So those tax breaks aren’t much of a break." - Bob Lonsberry April 24, 2012
Tax breaks are OK if you are an oil corporation?
Editor's Note: if they pay off for the people.
# 22. 6/14/12 9:18 AM by Andrew - Rochester, NY
It certainly is WRONG to allow a special tax break for ANYONE.
However, I WON'T "follow" the Greece school board's lead. That board is just a misguided as the COMIDA group. Greed, greed, greed, and the raping of the tax payer.
There is a fundamental problem underneath all of this. And it's that government agencies can do virtually WHATEVER they want and fund it on the back of the tax payer. More and more waste every day.
# 23. 6/14/12 9:26 AM by Henry - Fairport
Same old, same old - tax breaks for the wealthy while 'sticking it to' the rest of us.
# 24. 6/14/12 9:44 AM by Poplar Beach
It seems that no one, left, or right, agrees with this corporate welfare, (I guess the Congels and Wilmonts do not post comments here) at least when it is doled out in a fashion that picks winners and losers.
You want to stop it, TERM LIMITS, get rid of the good old boy network, clean out the sewers, make it so politicians are not career folks, but true representative of people, beholding to no one.
Or keep sending a few wide eyed newbies to Washington and Albany each year, throw them into that barrel of rotten apples, see how they try change the system and soon catch the rot themselves!
# 25. 6/14/12 9:49 AM by Roscoe - Pittsford
I took delivery on my new Chevy Volt two weeks ago and I have not had to fill it up yet. It is one amazing vehicle. Handles like a dream.
Editor's Note: have a nice winter
# 26. 6/14/12 9:51 AM by Amy - Brighton
So this is how the FREE MARKET operates. Now I get it.
# 27. 6/14/12 9:55 AM by Larry - Bergin, NY
That Greece Superintendent is one hot chick.
# 28. 6/14/12 9:58 AM by Tom Bastian - Fairport, NY
I agree with your position regarding corporate welfare and this type of deal in particular. Spending the public's money for a zero sum gain is corrupt. Other examples of this of course are the Paetec sweetheart deal that if had worked out would have simply moved jobs from Perinton to Rochester. Other examples are Carrousel Mall and Medley Center. Unlike you, I do believe that there are times when a PILOT does make sense. When you can lure a business from out of state that will bring good jobs to your area then I can support a PILOT. I believe that this arrangement started in the southeast when states like North Carolina and Florida lured businesses from the north to the south. Stromberg Carlson is a prime example of this. The bottom line is that there has to be a provable economic gain in the form of good paying jobs and investment. If not I agree with you, Just Say No.
# 29. 6/14/12 10:08 AM by Peking Humonculous
Thank you, Bob, for this column and a huge THANK YOU to the Greece School District for seeing this lemon for what it is. Honestly I am amazed that the Wilmots keep getting money handed to them after screwing the city out of the Sibley taxes. But that's politicians for you. While the little guy gets screwed, they make out just fine. I really hope my fellow New Yorkers start waking up and seeing all of these sweetheart COMIDA deals that are screwing the tax payers left and right.
# 30. 6/14/12 10:11 AM by Jolene ( serious BYU fan ) - Utah
You don't seem to write about Utah anymore.
Editor's Note: i wonder why that is
# 31. 6/14/12 10:20 AM by Glenn - Honeoye
Editor's Note: have a nice winter
You are so ill informed..... The Chevrolet Volt was designed and built to perform well in the harshest winter conditions. During the months of Volt development GM did winter testing in places like Pikes Peak and Kapuskasing Ontario to perfect winter functioning.
Volt engineers spent many frigid weeks calibrating the climate control system to make sure that drivers and passengers remained comfortable while still enjoying plenty of gasoline-free electric driving even in the harshest winter weather.
I drove my Volt in six inches of snow in Ohio and I could not have been happier with the way it handled.
Editor's Note: where does the energy for the heater come from? and what does that do to your range?
# 32. 6/14/12 10:28 AM
C'mere Bob!! I wanna give you a big hug! I went dancing at a nightclub out in San Diego years ago, andmy buddy got married and had kids with the woman he~we met there. Have a good one.
I ran along side with Norm Frank? years ago on the canal path.
# 33. 6/14/12 10:32 AM by Matt - Rochester, NY
Hey #30---I think everything has been said already about Utah that CAN be said. I am just glad it is now becoming the gay friendly state God intended it to be.
# 34. 6/14/12 10:32 AM by MIKE - PENN YAN, NY
Don't forget about the sales tax exemption on building materials they will get. That is normal for all projects falling under an IDA. So the Wilmonts will pay no sales tax on all of the steel, wood, pipe, HVAC, sheetrock etc... while mom and dad will pay sales tax on the lumber to build the new deck, or on the above ground pool. The sales tax exemption is has a direct effect on property tax rates since sales tax revenue helps to offset the growth of the property tax rate that everyone else has to pay.
If some still think a property tax deal is necessary then it should be limited to five years, allowing for an incremental increase up to 100% valuation at year 6. Enforceable benchmarks should be required including job creation and wage targets. If they are not achieved a penalty should be paid equal to the benefit of the five year reduction.
# 35. 6/14/12 11:05 AM by Joe - Rochester,NY
Editors Note: How does a mall leave?
For a detailed "how to" kit, visit the Irondequoit Town Hall.
# 36. 6/14/12 11:35 AM by Cal - Rochester, NY
I`m still wondering about the $18 million that Wilmerite borrowed from the City over 12 years ago for Sibley Tower and never paid back. Expanded business from Ren. Sq. was supposed to take care of this money. How short memories we have while we still keep handing over more millions to this private company! Meanwhile they are in the lucrative business of building new casino`s, even in California! The rich are getting richer with our tax money with this kind of vulture capitalism!
# 37. 6/14/12 11:39 AM by U.S. Taxpayer & Voter
Hopefully some of the other Monroe County town officials will be motivated to speak up now that Greece has. Taxpayers have had enough of these special privileges given to recipients who don't really deserve them.
# 38. 6/14/12 11:46 AM by Political Observer - Greece, NY
Kudo's to the Greece School Board!! COMIDA is nothing but a piggy bank, funded by the taxpayers of Monroe County, for the chosen few. Since Maggie runs Monroe County my guess would be that the Republicans run COMIDA. I have often wondered just who sits on the board of COMIDA and passes out these juicy tax breaks. Is there any web site available that lists the names of COMIDA board members?
# 39. 6/14/12 11:58 AM by Kurt - Penfield
That Maggie sure would make one heck of a congresswoman. Just think what she could bring to committees like Housing(free home repair), Transportation(free sobriety testing),Aviation(free cigars)and finally Homeland Security (free passes for terrorist because evidence wasn't tested)
Yes sir, one heck of congresswoman, I tell you.
# 40. 6/14/12 12:08 PM by Tupac - Rochester
Hey Assface....nice touch mocking the death of dogs with songs dug up by no brain Phil. I hope your sponsors were listening. I wonder if they want their business associated with that kind of crap.
Editor's Note: no one loves and respects canine americans more than i do
# 41. 6/14/12 12:33 PM by john - rochester
Bob - I'm sorry, but I just don't get Glen Beck. He's almost as boring as Joe Pags. The only syndicated shows worth listening to are Rush and Savage. How are you doing in Syracuse? Hope it goes well.
Editor's Note: i love syracuse. my career needs to be in a much-larger market, but i feel a very good spirit in syracuse, and know that for whatever reason i'm supposed to be there.
# 42. 6/14/12 12:44 PM by Mike - Rochester
Welcome to the plutocracy Flanders. Glad you could make it.
# 43. 6/14/12 2:12 PM by hc
Editor's Note: how does a mall leave?
Dunno. Ask Jodi. Maybe it's "rapture ready."
# 44. 6/14/12 2:42 PM by Tommy Taxpayer
Congrats to the Greece School Board. Keep in mind this is just a start. The Board has agreed to sue COMIDA in court. That will cost money if it gets that far.
We need the Town of Greece to take a similar stand and agree with the school board. This affects town taxes as well. We need Jodi Siegle and the Monroe county school boards association to also stand up and support the Greece School Board in this decision.
If we have a united front from several entities there is a chance this PILOT program will actually being overturned.
I hope others will see the wisdom in the Greece School Boards decision and stand up up publicly and say so!
# 45. 6/14/12 2:46 PM by Dave - Buffalo
The Chevy Volt guy (who drank the environmental whacko kool-aid) drove his crappy 9-volt "car" in Ohio snow two weeks ago???
Must be the Ohio in the ANWR?
Everybody knows all the snow in Ohio melted THREE weeks ago.
# 46. 6/14/12 4:19 PM by Dave - Rochester NY
I want to know why my tax dollars can't go to help a mall that I will use but have to go to SUNY Brockport so your daughters could go there. Your such a hypocrite. If you believe what your spit out of your mouth they would have gone to a private school and pay the full bill instead of expecting us taxpayers to help.
# 47. 6/14/12 6:24 PM by JHL - Rochester, ny
Tax breaks are OK if you are an oil corporation?
Editor's Note: if they pay off for the people.
Way to compromise your principles.
# 48. 6/14/12 7:53 PM
Speaking of the Volt, I witnessed a hybrid crapping out in the middle of traffic a couple of years back and except for the fact that someone could have gotten hurt real bad, it was hilarious. Imagine a moron running out of both gas and electricity. I'm sure GM engineered the Volt to be fool proof, but they haven't figured a way to make them damn fool proof.
# 49. 6/14/12 10:30 PM by Larry - Greece,NY
COMIDA,is that French for drop your pants & bend over? Like BOHICA? I agree 110%! Welfare is welfare no matter who gets it. However, I don't understand about the school board. Does it have any legal power here or is it taking a "moral" stand so to speak? I could understand the Town board speaking up. Either way, I'm glad they did!
# 50. 6/14/12 11:04 PM by NascarDad - Richmond, VA
Don't know Bob.. I think maybe you have the wrong target.
Down here in Central Virginia for the most part they don't raise tax rates at all, even in years where the total value of all the properties falls. That is because the people here raise holy heck any time they dare try to raise the tax rates.
Of course, they do play the plutocrat game of tax abatements down here to some extent, but usually only for stuff actually moving to the area, usually from out of state and sometimes from outside of the country.
It seems to me the best way to get them playing BS Bingo is to rightsize the taxes to begin with. Because right now what the government up there is doing up there is like putting different colored towels the deck chairs on the titanic.
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