The Attack on the Public by the Press and PrestonPosted: December 29, 2013
The biggest circulation day of each week for the Press & Sun-Bulletin is Sunday. The editorial page that greeted the reader on Sunday September 15 presented a coordinated attack on the services provided to residents of Broome County and the workers who provide these services. The editorial by the Press stressed that the county must do more to keep taxes down. To provide guidance to the reader, the Press states “In the business world higher cost in one area often means reducing costs in other areas. The cliché in private industry has become, what can we stop doing?”
This editorial is followed by a piece from County Executive Preston that states that the “county budget is hamstrung by union contracts, other costs.”
Big Business Tax Breaks Not Mentioned
What the duo of the Press and Preston do not mention is the hundreds of millions in property, sales and county recording fess given to big businesses by the Broome County Industrial Development Agency. (BCIDA) This agency has existed for fifty years, supposedly to provide jobs for residents. In that fifty years the number of people employed in the county has fallen, and continues to fall, and the BCIDA has never bothered to keep track of the taxpayer supported jobs that they were to create. The high employment and declining population in this county can give you a clue as to why the agency, which doles out millions to big business, does not account of jobs created.
Press Grabs a Tax Break
The Press fails to mention in the editorial that they themselves, with assistance from the BCIDA, have benefitted in millions in local tax breaks. The Press was given a fifteen year 50% reduction in county, town and school property tax breaks when they built a new facility in Johnson City along with paying no sales tax on building materials, equipment, and recording fees. When the Press asks “what can we stop doing” the answer is obvious, stop dodging your fair share of taxes. The Press avails itself of all the services provided by the various governmental units in the county but doesn’t pay for them. What a novel solution the editors have come up with.
Preston Represents Big Business
County Executive Preston, sits on the board of the BCIDA. She votes to dole out the huge tax breaks to big businesses while attacking the unions that provide the services to the county residents. She has participated on this board with another board member that the State of New York had cited for a conflict of interest in his membership and his business dealings. Preston kept her mouth shut about this conflict while flapping her tongue about reducing benefits to workers who have been providing necessary services to the residents for many, many years.
Preston is tough on paying decent benefits to public workers, and the Press doesn’t want to pay its taxes. A match made in Broome County.