No Consequences for Seneca Nation’s Failure to Pay Niagara Falls

Why are there no consequences for the Seneca Nation’s failure to pay for basic services provided by the City of Niagara Falls?

June 13, 2018

Letter to the Editor
Niagara Gazette

If a taxpayer fails to pay a utility bill, the service is shut off.  In Niagara Falls, if the most successful business in town is disrespectful of the local community and intimidates its elected officials, it doesn’t have to pay for any services.

I am a significant Niagara Falls taxpayer.  Why are there no consequences for the Seneca Nation’s failure to pay for basic fire, police, water, sewer, roadway services provided by the City?

The methodology used to pay for services from the City was the Compact with the State however, the State incompetently renewed the Compact without provision for the payment of State and local shares.  The Seneca’s originally said they would pay the local share but reneged on the promise. They apparently feel no obligation primarily because the city fathers are not disposed to do anything about it.

The burden of that misfeasance is now on the backs of the commercial and residential taxpayers of the City.  The commercial non-homestead tax rate increased 6.6% from 2017 at $33.81 per thousand to 2018 at $36.06 per thousand, severely affecting the City’s ability to retain and attract development.  The city is already overburdened with huge tax rates because of the incestuous political muck that resulted from years of poor management, padded payrolls, patronage, etc.

Andrew Cuomo should be holding local governments harmless from the incompetence of State government, but then again, they are all Democrats and nobody is complaining.  Why hasn’t the State identified, fired or sued the attorneys responsible for drafting the incompetent agreement whom, we assume, have malpractice insurance.

The State’s groundless action against the Seneca’s will take years to make its way through the courts.

Why should the City continue to provide unreimbursed services to the casino?  Shut down those services and watch how fast the Seneca’s pay up.

Why do City officials want to look the other way? Is it incompetence or something more nefarious?   They should man up and immediately protect the taxpayers.

Wake up, Niagara Falls.

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